x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

30,000 expected for exercise programme

If you are the kind of person who does not like to exercise alone, Dubai has just the fitness programme for you.

Dubai // If you are the kind of person who does not like to exercise alone, Dubai has just the fitness programme for you. As many as 30,000 people are expected to swim, walk, run and cycle together in four mass-participation events, part of an initiative to promote active lifestyles and combat rising levels of obesity and diabetes. The Dubai Pulse programme, organised by the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Health Authority, will include workshops on nutrition and health and fitness.

The scheme kicks off Friday with swimming at Al Mamzar Beach Park. There will be walking on December 10, running on December 17 and cycling on February 26, all at the park. The events are free, but participants must register. The programme was planned after research showed only 35 per cent of Dubai residents exercise twice a week or more. "We recognised the need to increase this figure significantly," said Dr Ahmed al Sharif, the secretary general of the sports council.

A forum held in April recommended a mass-participation programme. It was inspired by the Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Ajita Mundo initiative which has seen a 70 per cent increase in physical activity in the city. It encourages people to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. tbrooks@thenational.ae