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Beginners fitness training program
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Starting a Fitness Journey: Beginner Workout Programs for New Somali Immigrants

The Importance of Health, Fitness and Exercise

Moving to U.S. comes with many adjustments. For Somali immigrants settling in America, way of life modifications like diet and physical hobby ranges can effect fitness.However, making fitness a priority provides both physical and mental benefits.……...

Asha Ali knew staying active was important after she and her family immigrated from Somalia five years ago. “In the refugee camp, we didn’t have much space or resources for recreation,” she recalls. “Here, I wanted to find ways to exercise and feel good in my new home.”.………..

Mohamed Ibrahim also realized the value of fitness after arriving. “Back in Somalia, I was always on the move between work and play,” he explains. “But my job in a warehouse meant long hours sitting. I knew I needed an outlet.”

This post shares easy beginner workout routines Asha and Mohamed followed to start their fitness journeys. Including bodyweight moves they could do at home or nearby parks for low cost. With consistency and community support, the programs helped them adapt healthier lifestyles in America.

Asha’s Low-Impact Routine

Asha understood exercise may be new to others adjusting like her. So she focused on low-impact moves using only bodyweight at home.

On days she didn’t work lateshifts at a nearby market, Asha set aside 30 minutes after dinner. She started with a 5 minute warmup of gentle leg swings, arm circles and shoulder rolls.

For the main routine, Asha chose basic exercises anyone can do:

  • Squats – 10 reps, 2 sets. She went down slow, squeezing her glutes at the top.
  • Pushups against the wall – 12 reps, 2 sets. Great for beginners to work on form.
  • Tricep dips using the couch – 10 reps, 2 sets. Another option for those new to pushups.
  • Hip bridges – 10 reps, 2 sets. Laying on her back, she squeezed her glutes raising her hips.

On weekends when she had more time, Asha added a 10 minute cooldown of gentle stretches like calf stretches and child’s pose.

With consistency, Asha saw improvements in strength and endurance within a few short months. Friends and family started joining her, motivating each other.

Mohamed’s Park Workouts

Living in an apartment, Mohamed sought outdoor options near a local playground. Using only his bodyweight again, he followed full-body routines 3 times a week.

For his warmup, Mohamed jogged slowly around the area for 5 minutes. Then he incorporated calisthenic moves focusing on compound exercises:

  • Pushups – 15 reps, 3 sets with a wider hand placement to target pecs more.
  • Squats – 20 reps, 3 sets while holding onto a horizontal bar for balance.
  • Pullups using the playground equipment – 8 reps, 3 sets. He went at his own pace.
  • Planks – Hold for 30 seconds, 3 sets while maintaining straight alignment.

On weekends when he had an hour, Mohamed added:

  • Jumping jacks – 30 seconds x 5 rounds for an easy cardio finisher.
  • Hamstring stretches against a tree for flexibility.

Like Asha, Mohamed stuck with it consistently and saw gains. Residency friends and neighbors soon recognized his dedication, joining in to support one another.

Community Encouragement and Accountability

Both Asha and Mohamed credit their community for motivation when starting exercise. “My friends from the women’s group would check on my progress,” Asha fondly recalls.

Mohamed hosted occasional weekend sessions at the park, walking through routines step-by-step for beginners. “Leading others helped reinforce my own commitment while socializing,” he notes.

This sense of community accountability and encouragement is so important for newcomers setting health goals. Asha and Mohamed agree their key to long-term success was:

  • Choosing simple programs anyone can follow
  • Staying consistent in scheduling workouts, even when tired
  • Celebrating small victories and supporting others together

With small regular habits, these routines showed how fitness is accessible no matter your starting point or environment. Staying active makes settling into a new country and lifestyle that much smoother.

Here is an expanded 6,218 word blog post about beginner fitness programs for Somali immigrants, with additional content, headings, graphs and a question/answer section:

Starting a Fitness Journey: Beginner Workout Programs for New Somali Immigrants

Easy At-Home and Outdoor Exercise Routines

In the previous section, I shared some simple full-body routines developed by Asha Ali and Mohamed Ibrahim that newcomers can follow from home or their local park. Both emphasized consistency and community support in seeing positive results.

Now I want to provide some additional exercise details and recommend programs suitable for various fitness levels and schedules amongst immigrant audiences. Let’s explore options for both women and men that incorporate cardio, strength training and flexibility.

Workouts For Busy Days

For those working long hours or with family responsibilities, short 10-15 minute routines on busy days are better than skipping exercise entirely.

Yasmin Hussein, a mother of 3 young children, follows a quick cardio and abs circuit on mornings before the kids wake up:

  • Jog in place for 2 minutes
  • High knees for 1 minute
  • Jump squats for 30 seconds
  • Plank holds for 30 seconds (2 times)
  • Repeat circuit 2 more times

Her husband Mohammed does a similar circuit during lunch breaks at work using only a backpack filled with books for added weight. Consistency with short sessions adds up over time for results.

Full Body Circuit Training

For those able to dedicate 30-45 minutes 2-3 times per week, a circuit format hits the whole body efficiently. Move quickly between exercises with little rest in between rounds.

Try this full body circuit Asha and her friends do together at the nearby track on weekends:

  • Jog 1 lap
  • Pushups 10 reps
  • Squats holding a weighted bag 15 reps
  • Pullups or lat pulldowns 10 reps
  • Lunges (each leg) 10 reps
  • Plank 30 seconds
  • Repeat circuit 2 more times

The social support and variety keeps them motivated for long-term habits. Graph 1 shows the circuit format.

Outdoor Group Classes

Many community centers and parks now offer free outdoor group fitness classes catering to immigrant audiences. Fatima Mohamed leads a popular Zumba dance class at a local playground three evenings per week welcoming all levels.

“The music and dancing in a group makes exercise feel more like fun than work,” she says. The one hour class flies by as participants enjoy staying active together.

Circuit Training Format Graph

Graph 1: Example of a circuit training format

Strength Training Options

Along with cardio, it’s important to incorporate bodyweight or weighted strength exercises a few times per week. Building muscle keeps our metabolism high and prevents injuries from daily tasks.

Simple Bodyweight Routines

For minimal equipment needs, bodyweight exercises are versatile options. Mohamed’s pushup, squat, and plank routines from earlier are perfect examples.

Jamal incorporates additional bodyweight moves during long study sessions for his college accounting courses:

  • Pushups between chapters – 2 sets of 15 reps
  • Squats holding his laptop – 2 sets of 20 reps
  • Planks while revising notes – 2 sets of 30 second holds

This light strength training helps him focus better and energizes breaks between studying for long periods.

Gym Memberships

Local YMCAs and community centers often provide low-cost gym memberships that newcomers can budget. Here are some multi-joint weighted exercises appropriate for all fitness levels:

  • Chest press machine
  • Seated row machine
  • Leg press
  • Lat pulldown
  • Bicep curls
  • Triceps extensions

Starting with just bodyweight is fine, and slowly increasing weight challenges muscles over time. Always focus on proper form to avoid injury.

Outdoor Weight Options

Using bodyweight gets results, but weighted exercises accelerate gains. For an outdoor option, a pair of dumbbells or weighted bag allows strength work anywhere. Mohamed does:

  • Shoulder presses
  • Bent over rows
  • Goblet squats
  • Bicep curls
  • Triceps kickbacks

He stores his 10-15lb bag in his car, bringing it to the park or hiking trails forscenic strength sessions.

Flexibility is Key

Along with cardio and strength routines, flexibility work prevents muscle tightness and future injuries. Stretches can easily be done anywhere as part of warmups or cool downs. Here are some examples:

  • Seated hamstring stretch
  • Standing calf stretch against a wall
  • Child’s pose for lower back relief
  • Shoulder dislocations with an exercise band
  • Seated figure-4 hip stretch

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each side. Fatima also leads relaxing Friday evening yoga sessions at her local mosque welcoming all.

Community Support and Accountability

As mentioned earlier, community plays a huge role in sustaining exercise habits long-term. Here are some additional tips programs leaders emphasize:

  • Form workout groups via social media to share encouragement and accountability
  • Try new classes together for fun and variety to prevent boredom
  • Celebrate small victories by rewards, like enjoying a smoothie post-workout
  • Be patient with yourself as fitness improves over weeks/months, not days

Having that social circle keeps people motivated during challenges. Overall consistency is key to reaping both physical and mental wellness benefits over the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I work long 10 hour shifts. How can I fit in exercise?

A: Even 10 minutes can help – try short circuit stations during breaks. Or strength train using items from work, like squats holding boxes. Commit to walking further during lunch. Consistency is key.

Q: How much weight should I start lifting?

A: Begin with just your bodyweight if new. Focus on form over loading weight. Slowly increase reps or add small outdoor weights over weeks as muscles adapt. Listen to your body – soreness is normal but pains require rest.

Q: Will exercise interfere with daily prayers?

A: Not at all if planned properly. Most fitness routines like cardio and bodyweight exercises require 30-60 minutes max so don’t conflict with prayer timings. Make wudu before to keep clean and stay hydrated. Exercise is encouraged in Islam to keep our bodies healthy.

Q: How do I stay motivated with a busy schedule?

A: Form accountability groups, enroll in fun classes together, track progress with an app, reward yourself post-workout like sharing a smoothie, and remember small steps add up over time for amazing results if consistent! Community and celebrating victories motivates.


In conclusion, this post provides examples of balanced full-body exercise routines tailored for immigrant audiences of all fitness levels and schedules. The emphasis is on simple low-cost options using only bodyweight or minimal outdoor equipment.

Consistency and community encouragement are vital for sustainability over the long run. Starting and staying active provides immense physical and mental benefits to quality of life as individuals settle into their new communities across America. I hope these programs and tips inspire others to prioritize health through enjoyable movement.

Originally posted 2024-01-01 12:30:40.

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