Dubai: Fitness influencer Kelsey Wells set to workout in the city

The instagram sensation is here as part of the city's fitness activities


Ambica Sachin

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Published: Wed 27 Oct 2021, 6:49 PM

Last updated: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 3:42 PM

She was part of Dubai Active in December 2019, one of the last in-person events she attended before the pandemic. Now she’s back to headline the show as part of her mission to help women redefine fitness and use it as a tool for self-empowerment.

With nearly 3 million followers on Instagram alone, fitness trainer Kelsey Wells is no doubt an inspirational figure for many women looking for motivation to kick start a fit lifestyle.

“The 2019 Dubai Active event left such a strong impression on my heart, and I feel very connected to the women in the Middle East. When Dubai Active asked me to come back this year, I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to begin doing live events again,” she tells us.

Kelsey will be part of a live workout, her first public event in two years, followed by an interaction with fans at the event at Dubai World Trade Centre.

“Most people don’t realise how important movement is until they implement it in their lives. It’s an incredible initiative on the part of Dubai and I’m very honoured to be here to help kick it off.”

Excerpts from an interview with the fitness influencer, credited with creating the PWR programme, ahead of her event in Dubai.

What is the motto behind your PWR programme? Do you think the pandemic has made us more self-reliant in terms of exercise by not depending on gyms and rather working out on our own?

The motto behind my PWR programs which are available on the SWEAT app, and all that I try to do as a fitness professional, is to help people redefine fitness and use it as a tool for self-empowerment. I’m a huge advocate for the fact that motive for movement really matters.

People often complain of lack of space as a reason not to get into an exercise routine, but your quick 15-minute workouts seem ideal for this reason. What motivated you to come up with this?

In my programme, all of the workouts are 20 to 15 minutes or less and I was motivated to write this programme during the start of the pandemic when much of my community found themselves needing to workout at home and without equipment for the very first time. It’s about making time for exercise – we make time for the things that matter the most to us and it’s really about understanding that fitness is not about aesthetics, it’s about caring for your health and well-being and making this a priority.

How did you first get into the fitness field? Were you always active?

I wasn’t always active. I danced growing up and then I quit, and I didn’t exercise regularly because I saw it as a form of punishment and the ultimate chore. It was after the birth of my son when I was 24 that I was finally able to successfully implement exercise into my life. And that was the very first time that I exercised to help myself heal. So again, it really does go back to “why?”.

Working out is such a communal activity for many while for some it is an intensely personal space they are not keen to involve others in. How do you look upon exercise?

I see it as both. The first year of my fitness journey which was postpartum was intensely private and personal. The workouts I did were in the privacy of my own home, and it was about a year until I joined a gym and got into group fitness in general. Now I love to be in the gym and working out in a more public place.

I think the most important thing is that you’re moving your body and really finding the reasons that you’re doing so. That’s what really matters and is most important. I love weight training and the benefits are incredible, but at the end of the day, the most important thing to me as a fitness professional is to encourage people to be active and to take care of their health.

Name one underrated exercise.

I think weight training in general is underrated — for a long time there’s been a stigma about women lifting weights and I am proud to be redefining this for women because strength training belongs to women, as much as it does to men. There are so many incredible benefits from weight training including strengthening your bone density, improving your metabolism and strengthening your core.

How do you personally define fitness?

I define fitness as a lifelong endeavour to live my healthiest and happiest life. And I define fitness in general as an incredible tool for self-empowerment and the way in which we care for ourselves and our health. This isn't just the physical health, but our emotional and mental well-being too.

If you had to motivate someone to start leading a fit lifestyle just by making a few tweaks to their daily lifestyle, what would be your top recommendations.

It’s about making small daily changes that you can stick to. Start small — like with 15 minutes of daily movement. With nutrition, focus on what you want to gain, not on hard restrictions. Come at everything with a mindset of abundance towards your goals instead of restrictions towards your goals. That’s always going to help you to be more successful.

Also, remove timelines and understand that this is about changing your lifestyle and it doesn’t if you fail. When you realise this is a lifelong thing, your fitness journey is tied to you being human and you can’t fail it. Wake up, put in the best effort that you can on that day, give yourself grace and I’m sure you’ll be great!

Take us through your workout routine...

I don’t have a daily routine but my weekly routine is my PWR workouts. I do 3 -4 PWR sessions every week and do a lot of low intensity cardio which is anything from playing with my son to biking and swimming together.

What's the one essential fitness equipment you travel with...

If I am going to be away for a long time, I will take resistance bands which I can use with my entire PWR home programme.

How do you keep yourself motivated to stay active while travelling?

It’s not about having motivation at all, it’s about understanding that I feel best when I work out, so I make time for it due to that reason.

Why is exercise empowering for women, according to you?

It’s only empowering for women when they use it out of the right intention and motive. Once you start moving your body out of gratitude for it, you will feel empowered and the only way to understand that truth, which is a global truth, not just a belief of mine, is through testing it.

How does a cheat day look like in Kelsey’s life!

I don’t believe in cheat days nor the use of word cheat days. I think food is food. There are some foods that hold more or less nutritional value, but all food is food. We need to destigmatise good and bad food and cheat days to drop any guilt and shame surrounding food.

Workout with Kelsey at the Dubai Active Arena stage on Friday, October 29 at 2pm. Listen to an Empowering Q&A with Kelsey on Saturday, October 30 at 2pm. Meet & Greet with Kelsey on Friday & Saturday at 3pm at the Dubai World Trade Centre venue.

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