Resident's 30x30 Insta story reaches global audience
Dubai - He is using his social media accounts to log his fitness journey throughout the 30 days.
While many residents across the city said yes to the Dubai Fitness Challenge to prepare for an upcoming marathon or shed hard-to-lose pounds, Asif Shaikh simply made a promise to himself to get fitter than he has ever been.
"Everything is in sync now. I get up earlier to work out. I'm more productive at work. I go to bed earlier, too, so I'm actually getting a solid eight to nine hours of sleep a night. Things are just falling into place since I started," he told Khaleej Times.
Using his social media accounts to log his fitness journey throughout the 30 days, Shaikh said the Dubai Fitness Challenge has been picked up across the pond, in the UK.
"It really has a global reach. I'm not an influencer with a huge following, but after I posted a story on Instagram after one of my workouts, a lady from the UK reached out to me. She was coming to visit Dubai and wanted to know more about the challenge, how she could get involved, where I was doing all these free workouts.
She really wanted to know about the outdoor venues as it's not something they really get to take advantage of in the UK."
Taking advantage of the free classes and fitness sessions on offer around the city as part of the challenge, Shaikh said the 30x30 initiative had opened his eyes up to a host of options for people who wanted to stay fit, while at the same time keeping their pockets filled.
"You know, I hear a lot of people talking about how expensive everything is in Dubai . gym memberships, classes, etc., but through the challenge, I've come to know of a lot of freebies. You've got the outdoor gym near Skydive Dubai, the walking paths along Kite Beach, Al Barsha Park. There's a lot for people to take advantage of," he said.
Last year, his dedication towards the challenge was hit and miss. "Some days I'd work out, other days I wouldn't. That motivation just wasn't there," he said.
But 12 days in on the 2018 edition, he hasn't missed a beat. Upping his usual workout regime from four days a week to seven days a week (fitting in two workouts on some days), Shaikh said his motivation to keep fit is higher than it has ever been.
"Where I'd usually wake up at 8am, I now set the alarm for 6.30am. That gives me a chance to start my day right. I work in events, so my timings are really flexible. Each day is different to the next, but by starting my day with an early workout, it keeps me moving and makes me more productive for the rest of the day."
From body building training in the gym, to yoga, cycling and swimming, Shaikh has "made full use of activities around town". And once the challenge is over, he's planning to keep the momentum up.