A new year is a good time to set goals and resolutions, and many of us choose to focus on our physical health and renewing healthy habits this time of the year.
Rana Aldibs, a Health and Wellness Coordinator and Fitness Trainer at YWCA Hamilton, says wellness should not be just a New Year's resolution, but rather a permanent lifestyle.
Rana is a community connector, health educator, and motivational physical wellness trainer whose work focuses on the holistic wellness of newcomer women. She herself is an immigrant to Canada, having arrived in 2001. She reflects on that time, stating, “Canada was like a treasure box, and we had to explore everything in it.”
Rana's life has come full circle today, working in the very program that helped her as a newcomer. "I felt so strange at the beginning," she recalls, after arriving with her young family, having no friends or relatives, and leaving behind a very accomplished and well-established life. She learned over the years that settling into a new country can come with many challenges and obstacles. She decided that her goal would be to help all newcomer woman in any way she can to keep them motivated: “We rise by lifting others.”
Rana has volunteered and worked with countless organizations in Hamilton within the health, settlement and employment field to ensure that all newcomer women and refugees can access the help they need in order to succeed in Canada. One program -- the YWCA's Woman Alive!, a health and wellness program helping limited-income women achieve their health and wellness goals through awareness, health education, exercise, and community building -- is special to Rana. She started in that program as a participant and then a volunteer, and now she runs Women Alive! “This program is changing many lives to better lives,” she says.
In the spirit of positive change, Rana is helping raise awareness about the small ways in which we can all remain healthy in our communities and within our families. She wanted to leave us with these tips for the coming year:
- Set smart goals, work hard to achieve them, and remember that trainers are just one tool to help you on your path to wellness.
- Never give up: small changes can lead to big results.
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle, not a temporary gym membership.
- Embrace a positive mindset.