Dubai Fitness Challenge DFC Yoga
Doctors say that it normally takes 21 days to form a habit, after the 30-day challenge, you have high chances of continuing your fitness regime. Image Credit:

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is calling upon on all Dubai residents to tie up their shoelaces and step up to take up the monthlong 30x30 Dubai fitness challenge which kicked off on October 30.

On its part DHA has launched several sports initiatives such as football, basketball and volleyball challenges to encourage its employees and is also disseminating health and fitness tips through all its social media platforms for the benefit of the community.

Slash blood pressure and blood sugar with fitness

Dr Suhail Al Rukn, Neurologist and Head of Stroke Unit at Rashid Hospital, says: “This initiative is like no-other. Seeing community members build a simple but highly effective routine of getting 30 minutes of exercise per day is something I feel grateful towards as a doctor. There is absolutely no doubt that we can prevent a host of non-communicable chronic diseases if we adopt a healthy lifestyle and exerreducecise is a key pillar to achieve good health. Inactivity is a real global problem when it comes to lifestyle modification and this challenge offers people so much support and it is simple.

"I strongly urge community members to take up this challenge but most importantly to continue it after 30 days and to make it a part of their daily routine. The health benefits of exercise are simply multifold. From improvement in mood and mental well-being to the physical benefits of exercise such as its ability to lower blood pressure, prevent an onset of several chronic diseases such as diabetes and even help reverse certain health conditions such as prediabetes, the benefits are plenty.”

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Mental health

Mayo Clinic says that 30 minutes of regular exercise can help lower blood pressure. A reduction of five to 10 millimetres of mercury (mmHg) is possible. In some cases, that is enough to prevent or reduce the need for blood pressure medications. Al Rukn says regular exercise helps improve cholesterol, prevents or helps manage type 2 diabetes, prevents obesity and the underlying health problems that accompany it. Weight-bearing exercises can help prevent osteoporosis. Additionally it does wonders for mental health.

Work out to de-stress

Dr Rukn added: “Exercise is a stress-busting tool, it helps provide mental clarity and also improves mood as we release endorphins (a feel-good hormone) when we exercise. It helps improve mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety as well as improves sleep. It is important to note that fitness enthusiasts and amateurs alike should not overdo exercising and should focus on the correct form or posture to ensure they prevent sports injuries. It is also important to focus on progressive overload, which means you increase your weights or intensify your exercise routine after consistently working out and not suddenly as this can lead to injuries. The idea is to work out regularly and that is the beauty of this challenge, you simply have to do 30 minutes per day.”

It normally takes 21 days to form a habit, after the 30-day challenge, you have high chances of continuing your fitness regime according to Dr Al Rukn.

The fitness challenge was first introduced in 2017 by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, In the last three years, during the one month challenge, the whole city of Dubai is transformed into a fitness hub where all community members ranging from children to the elderly take it upon themselves to indulge in 30 minutes of activity per day for 30 days.

Virtual training by experts at your home

This year, the challenge also provides participants with virtual at-home sessions with the Find Your 30 virtual content hub. The DFC website includes workout videos, 30-day exercise programmes, discipline challenges, podcasts, healthy recipes, health and wellness articles and vlogs, workout graphics and educational videos for children.

The challenge also offers free, weekly guided Dubai Running Tours, providing a unique, on-foot perspective of iconic sights across the city. Organised in partnership with Arabian Adventures and sports brand ASICS, the tours will be available throughout the 30 days of the Challenge.

Doctor's fitness tips 

Keep going with the challenge even after it is over.

Watch your diet and ensure you eat a healthy diet at least 80 per cent of the time

Get enough sleep- at least 7 hours a day

Try to slot in mindfulness activities like yoga, journaling and meditation

Limit the use of screen-time,” he remarked.