Dubai: A Dubai-based health care group is ending 2020 on a strong note with its month-long ‘Walk To Win’ Challenge.
Over 18,890 employees working at 380 establishments under Aster DM Healthcare, operating in seven countries, including the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and India, were invited to take part in the fitness initiative aimed at helping medical frontliners cope with the demands of the pandemic while living a healthy lifestyle. And a sizeable lot joined in.
Alisha Moopen, deputy managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, told Gulf News: “One thing the pandemic has reinforced is the importance of one’s own health. Only by prioritising our own health, can we ensure the health and well-being of our family, colleagues, patients and customers.”
“Over the last few months, the demands of coping up with the pandemic and new normal living has made many people put their health and wellness on the back burner which can lead to long-term effects. To address this, we launched the Aster Well-being Programme which is encouraging our employees to prioritise their own health and fitness. ‘Walk to Win’ Challenge is one such initiative through which we are making losing weight a fun-filled activity that our employees can work towards both individually and as teams,” she added.
Aside from the physical challenge, the partcipants were also advised to practise healthy eating and improve sleeping habits to reduce the risk for several chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
Fitness challenge mechanics
Staff and employees were divided into teams. Each team had 10 members, including the team leader. Each team also came up with a name such as Medcare-MWCH-Challengers. Participants were discouraged from changing teams during the challenge.
Team leaders created WhatsApp groups to track the number of daily steps by their members. Team members tracked their steps through step tracking wearables or apps on smart phones such as Health (Apple) and Google Fit (Android devices). Proof of individual walking and running were shared by team leaders. The month-long fitness campaign will culminate on December 31.
Dr Mahendra Mallegowda Shivamallappa , general practitioner Emergency Medical Services, Aster Hospital – Qusais, said: “Due to my participation in the Walk to Win Challenge, I feel more relaxed and energetic, even when I’m on straight duty." After work, I take my wife with me to make around 20,000 steps daily.”
"After work, I take my wife with me to take around 20,000 steps daily.”
Sijith Thomas, staff nurse at Aster Clinic – Discovery Gardens, is also doing 20,000 steps at night, after day duty. He noted simple walking daily can change your life for the better as you feel refreshed and more energetic.
He noted simple walking daily can change your life for the better as you feel refreshed and more energetic.
Another nurse at Medcare Hospital – Al Safa said her average is 17,000 steps daily. “I feel more motivated at work and I feel lighter and more active. I feel like I’m already a winner because I was able to motivate myself to exercise regularly and boost my immunity,” added Filipino nurse Nina Ricci Repane.
Surya Mary Sajeev, pharmacist and unit in charge at Aster Pharmacy, said she is now more energetic.
She said she feels more active after shunning a sedentary life.
Dr. Anwar Sadath, specialist orthopaedic surgeon at Medcare Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, said ‘Walk To Win’ Challenge has given motivation to employees and staff to put their health as priority.
He said the challenge is a unique opportunity for staff at Aster.