The per­sonal trainer

Sha­hab Sha­bani, orig­i­nally from Tehran, Iran, is a Dubai-based fit­ness trainer

Friday - - Report -

There is a rise in obe­sity in chil­dren these days. Very of­ten I would train the par­ents and then I’d see that their chil­dren were un­healthy so I’d of­fer to help them out too. This soon saw other par­ents seek­ing my help.

Chil­dren can lose weight faster if they’re ac­tive. If they don’t make the move to a health­ier life­style when they’re young they’ll find it dif­fi­cult to shed the weight when they’re older and prone to health prob­lems.

I cur­rently train four chil­dren aged 10 to 15. The change in them when ex­er­cise be­comes a part of their life­style is amaz­ing; very of­ten it’s like a whole new per­son has been born. Their par­ents tell me they’re much more ac­tive in school and they take part in more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties.

We don’t re­quire tra­di­tional ex­er­cise ma­chines or weights used to train adults for the chil­dren. My fo­cus is more on us­ing aer­o­bics, re­sis­tance train­ing us­ing the gym ball, medicine ball, and step train­ing, which is very good for joints. Ex­ces­sive weight train­ing is harm­ful for them as they’re still grow­ing. I train them three times a week.

I also pro­vide them with nu­tri­tional ad­vice but they have no di­etary re­stric­tions as they are still grow­ing. The only things they’re asked to give up on are fast food, fried and oily foods and foods that are high in su­gar.

The par­ents are asked to see to it that they add more veg­eta­bles to their meals and all meals are con­sumed by 8pm, af­ter which they’re not al­lowed to eat.

Drop­ping the weight is not what is im­por­tant. Re­duc­ing body fat while in­creas­ing mus­cle mass is the right way to go.

The ex­pert

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