Women Who Inspire Us - Shaheena K
What’s important to you in life?
My family and friends are very important to me. I want to be healthy so I can continue to love and support my family as they grow up whilst also living an active and fulfilling life, participating in new adventures and keeping pace with my almost teenage kids. I have multiple roles to play: mother, daughter to an ageing father, professional working for a charity, a sister and a friend. I want and need to play all these roles well, without losing my sense of self.
Why is exercise important to you?
I am a self-confessed foodie and much of my social life revolves around food and cooking for friends and family. Hence, I like to exercise not only to help me stay in shape but also because it's fun and gives me the stamina to underpin my hectic life. As a busy single mum, exercise also provides me with time for myself. I particularly enjoy Latino dancing, swimming, yoga and pilates, all of which I believe are great for my mental and physical wellbeing; they also provide time for reflection and calm.
Has it always been important?
As I have entered my 40s, exercise has become increasingly important to me as it has been critical to maintaining my health and enabling me to do the other things I love – such as eating out and cooking for friends without guilt. I work for a charity that services the needs of the elderly and so I see first hand the negative effects that a sedentary lifestyle can have in later life. As much of my job involves sitting down, exercise energises me and I see it as an investment in my future health. Travelling and exploring far flung places is also a passion of mine and I want to be able to experience different cultures for as long as I can.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I would like to be able to hold a plank 2 minutes and run a 10k race.
Who inspires you?
My late mother has been the greatest inspiration in my life. She was devoted to her children and at the same time overcame cultural boundaries by continuing to work in order to preserve her own independence as an educated Asian woman. Her influence always encouraged me to become self sufficient and independent. I am now motivated to pass on this philosophy to my own children. I also admire Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain because she has transformed herself from being a stay at home mum to becoming a renowned chef and businesswoman who has created her own brand becoming a popular household name. I also think she is great role model for all Asian women.
Can you give our readers one exercise tip?
Download ‘The 7 min workout app – 7MWC’. It’s a great workout when you have very little time but want to feel like you have done something. Every little bit helps!