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Alisha Moopen, TJ Wilson Saeed Al Tayer inaugurate the Be Young at Heart Marathon organised by Aster Volunteers Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Over 3,000 participants took part in the first ever ‘Be Young at Heart’ 10-km run organised by Aster Volunteers and Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA) at Zabeel Park on Friday. Abdel Ali from Morocco finished first ahead of compatriot Ebrahim Sulamani.

The run highlighted the importance of regular exercise to maintain a healthy heart ahead of World Heart Day on Sunday.

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, around 30 per cent of the UAE’s population suffers from heart disease, often linked to unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits. As part of Vision 2021, the UAE aims to reduce lifestyle related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to ensure a longer, healthy life for its citizens.

Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, inaugurated the run along with TJ Wilson, executive director, group head of governance and corporate affairs at Aster DM Healthcare and Saeed Al Tayer, CEO of social planning and development at CDA.

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Participants at the Be Young At Heart run in Zabeel Park on Friday Image Credit: supplied

Among runners from all walks of life, the even t also included employees of Aster DM Healthcare from Medcare Hospitals, Medical Centres, Aster Hospitals UAE, Aster Clinics and Retail.

“Physical activity is key to maintaining your health which will help to reduce many lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr Azad Moopen. “The Be Young at Heart Marathon is an initiative in which Aster Volunteers have joined hands with CDA of Dubai as part of the awareness campaign for the public. Dubai is endowed with excellent weather for five to six months of the year where the residents can undertake outdoor activities which can help them reduce the risk of cardiac diseases. We thank all the participants for joining us in large numbers through their enthusiastic participation. Let me also place on record our appreciation for CDA for partnering with us in this event,” Moopen added.

Al Tayer said, “The Community Development Authority is committed towards the development and welfare of the residents of UAE and we have worked closely with the Aster Volunteers team to set out the path for the Be Young at Heart marathon. The initiative is in line with the national agenda of promoting a healthy lifestyle and we were delighted to support this community event.”

Aster Volunteers is a corporate social responsibility initiative of Aster DM Healthcare that has impacted over a million lives. ‘Be Young At Heart’ runs will also take place across India and other GCC countries over the weekend.