Dubai: Crowds poured in by the hour to participate in the third fitness weekend carnival of the 30x30 Dubai Fitness Challenge at the heart of Dubai on Friday.
Heading towards its last week, the fitness challenge continued to push people to complete their 30 minutes of exercise a day through its three-day fitness festival at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai.
The event featured everything — from group workout sessions and mobile fitness units to a ninja warrior course and a skate park — giving participants a chance to enjoy a range of exercises outdoors.
Facing Burj Khalifa, the venue was transformed into an outdoor gym, featuring traditional gym equipment, rowing machines, as well as a host of crossfit trainers, and weights equipment.
Running from Thursday to Saturday, the Burj Park fitness weekend saw fitness enthusiasts, personal trainers, first timers, and families, who were eager to enjoy the outdoors, while moving to the music and burning some calories.
Gulf News talked to Asem Sharqawy from Egypt, who accepted the challenge, and has been exercising on a daily basis. “Since the initial day of the challenge, I have been exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. I take part in general fitness exercises such as running, as well as boot camp exercises, and mountain climbing,” he said.
Looking around at the various activities taking place at the park, Sharqawy said he was interested in the boot camp group classes as well as the ninja warrior class. “The weather is fantastic and the view of Burj Khalifa is perfect to exercise in front of,” he added.
Meanwhile, first-time participant Summer Wine, from the Philippines, said she was happy to come down to the park to see the crowds and join a few classes. “Today is my first day taking part in one of the challenge’s carnivals. I have tried to exercise more this month, even though I didn’t accept the challenge. I go jogging almost every night — and whenever I have time,” she said.
Wine pointed at the outdoor gym as her next stop, saying she will be focusing on strengthening her abs on Friday.
Just the same, Filipino Sendrea Fernandes said while she missed the first two weekends of the challenge, she was determined to take part at the Burj Park weekend activity.
“I have just completed the body combat session, and I usually take similar classes like body pump and steps too. This challenge is a great initiative and very motivational for people to start thinking of their fitness,” she said.
Fernandes said her goal for this month is to maintain her weight and figure, while enjoying outdoor exercises.
Meanwhile, Jonathon Hadfield, fitness instructor, personal trainer and lifestyle motivator, was at the outdoor gym, showing first-timers the correct techniques and forms of exercising, while ensuring their safety on the machines. “We have more people pouring in as the sun comes down. This is a great opportunity for people to take a look at fitness. If you have no idea about exercise, you can box, cycle, do aerobics, or even weight lift — there is a vast variety of exercises and something for everybody,” he said.
Hadfield pointed to the mix of people at the event, from newcomers to those struggling with their weight, and fitness enthusiasts, having fun.
“We want people to have fun and to try and get them addicted to exercise. This challenge is for 30 days, but these practices should be carried on for life. People can get an introduction today and feel the vibe — from experience, people tend to feed off other people’s energy, and the majority are taking something away,” he said.
Exercising as a family, mother of two Sol Medina-Sivenius also referred to the energy in the park, pointing out that her family has attended every carnival of the initiative taking place in the last few weeks. “We are talking about one of the most multicultural cities in the world, and this initiative is a great effort on the part of the government to get different cultures and people together to interact and get fit at the same time,” she said.
Sivenius, said her family completes the daily fitness challenge by swimming or walking.
Last weekend carnival
With just one week to go, the fitness challenge aims to hold its last fitness carnival at Dubai Festival City on November 17-18.
The carnival will include two action-packed days of activities, classes, and competitions, concluding with the much-awaited prize distribution ceremony and a massive fireworks display.