Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Brunei Town

Reclaiming health

Bahyiah Bakir

Health and fitness go hand in hand. Health is wealth, and we must take care of ourselves. A fit person will have low susceptibility to diseases and will also function more productively. We have busy schedules, and many of us cannot find the time to exercise.

Thus, we must find alternative ways to get in shape. Walking a certain distance, using stairs instead of elevators, and maintaining a proper sleep schedule are some of the ways to stay fit.

Aimi Naqibah, a teacher and a mother, shared her story on her weight loss journey, and why she has chosen to stay fit and healthy.

“I was big, like seriously big, especially after having kids. It was easy to gain weight,” said Aimi, fondly known as Coach Havana by her friends.

She discovered she had high blood pressure and was frequently ill. She decided to seek professional advice by making an appointment at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital to find out what was wrong with her once and for all.

“After countless tests and visits to the hospital, the doctor told me I have multiple cysts inside my uterus,” she said.

Nurleyermah binti Haji Raya, an Elitesquad21 member and a member of Brunei’s Silat National Team
Aimi Naqibah or Coach Havana, founder of Elitesquad21. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

The doctor recommended surgery to remove the growth. However, the cysts kept coming back and she went through six surgeries within a short period.

“I did not spend much time with my family due to all the healing from the surgeries,” she said.

“The doctor told me that performing repeated surgeries would eventually damage the uterus wall. And I remembered when I was six to seven months pregnant with one of my children, there was a cyst in my uterus that had to be removed because it would harm the baby. I was devastated and was at the lowest point in my life,” she continued.

Her doctor suggested that she lost weight as that would help with improve her medical condition.

For the sake of her family and herself, Aimi decided to sign up for online fitness classes and a weight training programme. She participated in a lot of physical activities and competitions such as Brunei’s Alpha Challenge.

It took her a year to lose weight with consistent physical training and workout. Further medical consultation showed that the cyst was gone and she is now certified healthy.

With her experience and knowledge in fitness, Aimi partnered with Coach Alush to form an all-women fitness group, the Elitesquad21.

The group provides a space for women to keep fit with a variety of exercises and strength training workouts. The workout programme is specifically catered to women, and the coaches are dedicated to helping members achieve their personal goals.

“Every woman is different. We all have our own goals, body types, struggles, and injuries. We know our struggle points. Different body types respond to different types of training. This is where we offer our services according to the individual’s wants and needs by coming up with a fitness plan most suited to their goals,” said Aimi.

A member of Elitesquad21, Norleyermah binti Haji Raya told the Bulletin that working out is a form of release. “Getting fit carves out the best version of ourselves physically and mentally,” she said.

Norleyermah is a member of the Brunei National Pencak Silat team. Recently, she and her team won silver medals in a martial arts tournament during the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam. She told the Bulletin that she trains with her Brunei National Pencak Silat team and with Elitesquad21 to increase her stamina and strength.

Currently, she is training for a Pencak Silat tournament this month in Malacca, Malaysia and another tournament here in Brunei in conjunction with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 76th birthday in August.

“It is important to keep ourselves fit and healthy. But aside from working out, choose the right habit, eat better and get enough sleep. As our body changes, our lifestyle will change too. It is not too late to have a healthy lifestyle,” she added.