Lack of interest for exercise and an overactive sweet tooth led to Nehal S. receiving lab test results showing her blood sugar level was in the pre-diabetic range. This was her wake-up call. Nehal joined her local City Sports Club determined to turn her health around. She began strength training, participating in group fitness Zumba® and Yoga class, and switched to a low-carb diet. Incorporating these lifestyle changes helped her lose 24 lbs. in a little over 4 months! As if that wasn’t reason enough to celebrate, Nehal’s blood sugar level is now back in the normal range. She admits her newfound energy and confidence are all just added bonuses to her new active lifestyle!

Changing Lives for the Better

Nehal’s passion for helping others better their lives comes from a very sincere place of understanding how others feel, considering she was once in their shoes. When Nehal was in her 30s, a friend she used to walk with tried persuading her to join the gym. She had been hesitant due to overly-crowded gyms and complicated parking conditions. However, City Sports Club changed all that.

Once Nehal signed up for a membership, she fell in love with the group fitness classes, and her husband loved the swimming pool and exercise machines. The formats of the BodyWorks Plus Abs and Zumba® group fitness classes were the perfect combination for Nehal to get both her strength training and aerobic exercise in. Within a month, she started seeing results.

Within 4-5 months, her blood sugar levels decreased along with her weight.

In an effort to further better herself, Nehal adjusted her diet along with beginning to exercise. Even as a vegetarian, she found ways to incorporate more non-meat proteins into her diet, increased her intake of green vegetables, and reduced her carbs. She saw results almost immediately. Within 4-5 months, her blood sugar levels decreased along with her weight.

In the Zumba® group fitness class Nehal attended, her instructor encouraged her to lead a Bollywood song for the class, which helped her gain confidence and feel comfortable teaching in a group setting.

The Audition

After successfully transforming her health for the better, Nehal auditioned to become a City Sports Club group fitness instructor. While she was nervous at first, with support and persistence, Nehal now teaches BodyWorks Plus Abs classes that leave members feeling sweaty from a good, intense, workout.

Nehal always greets members with a bright smile and helps make them feel welcome to class. She’s able to help encourage members, while reminding them to work at their own pace. There are always modifications that can be made for different fitness levels, so no matter what level you’re starting at, you can still get in a great workout and build to some of the more advanced moves as your ability improves.

Some of Nehal’s strongest qualities are her smile and sense of humor, which help make her classes more cheerful and fun. She encourages her classes to speak with her afterwards regarding any questions about the exercises done in her class that day. She wants to help answer any questions members may have, and share her own knowledge about the benefits of strength training. She wants her students to be able to relate to her, because she was once in their shoes.

Exercise & Diet

While everyone’s personal diet and exercise routine varies, Nehal shared with us what works best for her. In her words, “My exercise routine is very normal, which anyone can follow. Just 1 hour each day.”

Nehal incorporates strength training 3 days a weeks, Zumba® twice a week, and Yoga and/or stretching 2 days a week.

Her diet includes: Plain Greek yogurt with berries and walnuts, whole egg omelets with green veggies, avocado, string cheese, baked yams, and smaller portions of some of her favorite Indian dishes. Nehal has noticed that her body benefits from intermittent fasting, and will sometimes skip breakfast after a big unexpected dinner from the previous night.

While she has not strictly cut out anything in particular, she has learned that smaller portions, along with mindful eating, has worked perfectly for her.

There are no shortcuts for weight loss and better health. Make the changes that you can continue. Make exercise a part of your day.

– Nehal S., City Sports Club Group Fitness Instructor

A Bit of Advice

Q: What should members know about group fitness classes before getting started?

NS: Read the description of the class you are taking. Go into new classes with an open mind. There is no competition or judgment, work at your own pace. Meet/talk with the instructor, they would love your questions and comments.

Q: Have you found that there is a way to help members stay motivated when they’ve hit a fitness plateau?

NS: Change your workout routine. Try new classes, especially HIIT (high intensity interval training). Sign up for a 5k race and restart that food logging diary.

Q: What advice would you give for those struggling to start/stick to a healthy lifestyle plan?

NS: Getting to gym is the hardest part, but once you are there, the atmosphere and people around you will motivate you. It normally takes 3 months to develop a habit. Setting smaller goals like building a stronger core to reduce lower back pain (not for six packs abs). Once you see the results, there is no stopping. Nutrition-wise, I normally tell members to make only changes that they can continue. No drastic changes. Adding salad/protein with each meal and a brisk walk are examples. I never tell them to stop eating what they love. Smaller portions with mindful eating habits are the key factors.


A Special Message from Nehal S.

Nehal wishes to thank her husband for his continued support, and the group fitness instructors who had confidence in her abilities to lead a class.

Some answers have been edited for length and/or clarity.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.