As the Dubai Fitness Challenge makes an energetic comeback today for not only the young in age but also for the young at heart, a number of participants who took part in the challenge last year confess how the 30-day challenge had a transformative effect on their lives and turned from couch potatoes to health freaks.
Anuroopa Mukherjee, who wasn’t much into fitness, said there was something catchy about the 30X30 figure that just struck a chord with her and she set out on her fitness regiment.
“I would call it a really smart initiative because it has proven how people can dramatically change their lifestyles and habits in a short period of time, bringing regular exercise into their daily routines. I and my husband started by simple walk in the park and due to this challenge we would push ourselves to walk for half an hour which we realised is the time it takes to start burning calories. This is a great move because when you do something for 30 days at a stretch then it becomes a habit.”
Talking about how she is taking this to the next level, Mukherjee said: “Since I am already on my 30-minute routine, I think it’s now time to up the game and I am trying to increase it to 40-45 minutes. I am also trying to include some yoga moves, sun salutations along with breathing and meditation practice.”
Maria Bagnulo who works at the Al Jalila Foundation, said the challenge not only helped her up her fitness level but also helped her team bond well. “Although I was doing yoga and running thrice a week or so but the fitness challenge motivated me to do it everyday. It was an amazing competition for our team as all of us registered as a team on the Dubai Fitness Challenge app. We saw our team bond and grow healthier together as we would check the app and see how team members were doing different exercises and stepping up the fitness game.”
Maria and her team also organise a number of events for causes such as walkathons for breast cancer or triathlons and even marathons.
School teacher Saiqa Anwer said: “We, as teachers, get physically stressed and drained due to the nature of our work. I never pushed myself to go out and walk or exercise after coming back for school but the fitness challenge changed it. I promised myself to take out 30 minutes to walk everyday and I realised the half an hour walk actually relaxed my body and mind.”