Dubai Fitness Challenge kicks off on October 26

Dubai Fitness Challenge kicks off on October 26

Events will be held across malls in Dubai.


Kelly Clarke

Published: Wed 24 Oct 2018, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 26 Oct 2018, 10:21 AM

On Friday, residents across the UAE will be able to benefit from a host of free outdoor activities, fitness sessions and gym classes as the city welcomes the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) for the second year.
Following on from last year's success, DFC aims to catapult Dubai into becoming the most active city in the world by turning it into a giant activity playground. 
For those with a penchant for fitness; and even those without, the goal to dedicate 30 minutes of activity a day for 30 days doesn't require a month-long slog at the gym.
For 19-year-old Charlton Gomes, he's using it as a chance to help his friend out.
"For the fitness challenge month, I'm going to make it a daily habit to walk my friend's dog. I'm a dog lover so it's a good excuse to stretch his legs and mine."
Although he didn't take part last year, Gomes said with the initiative coming back for a second year, it's a good reason to reestablish a better commitment to fitness.
"It's a very beneficial thing for me. For others, it helps them think about health and it's a very useful way to promote fitness in a fun way."
With free weekend carnivals throughout the four-week duration, Lebanese expatriate Hussein Nehme said what he wants to partake in more this year is family oriented activities.
"I took part last year and I'll do the same again this year. The weekend carnivals are a great day out, all while getting fit and for free. My work even registered last week too. I don't know what we will be doing but there really will be no getting out of being active, and to me, that's a great thing."
18-year-old Jassim Iqbal said from Friday onwards, he's going to use the DFC as a pledge to get back into shape.
"I'm going to hit the gym, hit the weights and get my body back to what it was. This month is all about getting fit so I want to take full advantage of that. It's good to be pushed with a challenge that spans so many people from all different cultures and societies; kind of like friendly competition."
The Dubai Fitness Challenge started in 2017 as a citywide initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for Dubai Government.
More than 700,000 people from Government, corporate, schools, universities and the public joined in the movement and committed to getting their daily #Dubai30X30 in 2017, and this year the target is one million.
Hoping to be a part of that number is Chris Reed.
"I didn't participate last year and I was kinda kicking myself for that. This year, I'm in. It's a great way to take charge of your health but in a way that doesn't make it a chore. And what shouldn't be overlooked is the affordability aspect. Joining gyms and classes here cost big bucks so the fact there are so many on offer for free, that's my best excuse yet to kick myself into shape."
With an all-new Dubai Fitness app this year too, why not start on the right foot by joining the opening weekend carnival at Dubai Festival City on October 26 and October 27 from 1pm to 8pm.

Change the mindset 

Treat exercise as a bonus: Being active not only helps you get stronger physically, it is beneficial to your mental health too. Not only that, it's great at strengthening your internal organs like your heart and lungs.
Don't fall into the junk food trap: Even if you do exercise a lot, it doesn't give you an excuse to eat junk food 24/7. Being active and healthy means reframing your mindset, and that includes food habits. Don't go in with the mindset that says: "I've exercised today, which means I can eat that chocolate bar". Make it really worth it by eating well too. Have a treat once a week instead of once a day. 

Are you a novice at fitness? Try these

1. Walk your dog, or if not yours, a neighbours, friends
2. Use that pool in your apartment or villa complex and swim a few lengths a day. If you don't have a pool, try and fit in a trip to the beach
3. Take the stairs more often. Stop relying on elevators to get you places. If the stair walk is manageable, then do it!
4. Make use of Dubai's outside areas. From parks to rubber walking tracks, most activity-friendly public spots across the city are within 15 minutes of home. Instead of Netflixing after work, take a walk or jog first.
5. When walking, pick up the pace and go from a leisurely stroll to brisk walk

More news from