Now in its sixth edition, DFC has played a huge role in influencing many people’s fitness journeys
When the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) was launched, the mission was to transform the emirate into the world’s most active and dynamic city. Every year, he gets closer to his ultimate goal, but something incredible happens along the way: people begin to change their lives.
With the ongoing fitness craze in its sixth edition, Khaleej Times He met a number of people who found inspiration and decided to make changes to their lifestyles – all thanks to DFC.
One of these was Dr. Krishnadas Nanath, Associate Professor and Head of the Data Science Program at Middlesex University Dubai. “My weight was almost touching triple digits,” he recalls.
“I decided I needed to do something about it, and that’s when my fitness challenge started last year. I had read that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out that premise.”
For 30 days, Krishnada did 30 minutes of exercise and once the month was over, he continued with regular jogging and cycling.
“One thing about Dubai is if you want to get fit, there are many events throughout the year,” he said. “I started participating in many more races and runs. This gave me solid goals to keep working towards.”
The Dubai resident has now dropped more than 26kg and is the fittest ever. “People ask me how I find time for fitness,” he said.
“It’s all about priorities. If I watch a movie, no one will ask me how I find the time for that. It takes less time than that to complete a workout. I’ve now started taking my 3-year-old son to events. I want fitness to be an integral part of his life.” And he’s growing up.”
Fat has become appropriate
For Hossam Mohamed, the challenge was a turning point. The Sudanese citizen who suffers from obesity, diabetes and suffers from high blood pressure, decided to use DFC as a wake-up call.
“I was inspired by the way our Crown Prince called on everyone to get fit and healthy,” he said. “I’ve always been a big fan of his. So I decided to take on the challenge.”
In a remarkable feat, the Dubai resident lost more than 50 kilos. “I could barely walk a few steps without stopping to catch my breath,” he said.
“Today, I ran a full marathon, participated in the Spartan World Championships and am now a fitness and nutrition coach. DFC has been the biggest catalyst for the fitness journey of my life.”
Similarly, at one point in his life, Sandeep Sathyan had a weight of 118 kilograms and he even shied away from posting his pictures on social media for fear of being ridiculed.
However, when DM started the “Your Weight in Gold” campaign, he was motivated to lose weight.
Shortly thereafter, when the Dubai Fitness Challenge started, he used it as an opportunity to raise his fitness levels. “I was still learning about exercise and diet at the time,” he said. “That month was a great start for me to be consistent and regular in my workouts.”
Today, the Dubai resident weighs 70 kg and couldn’t be happier. “My health and self-confidence have changed drastically,” he said.
“I think DFC has been a game-changer in my life. From 2017 onwards, my friends and I participate in different activities around town during the month. Instead of doing our usual sports, we check out new ones. I love how suddenly fitness has become a focus Everyone. Most of us in my friend group have been able to keep that month’s momentum going all year.”
Choose a new sport
In 2017, Jenna Jacob had just given birth to her first child and was feeling overweight and unhappy. When the fitness challenge started, she took it as a sign and decided to stay fit.
“There were all these messages about being fit and staying healthy, so that motivates me,” she said. “I always enjoyed sports and was looking for something like football or basketball.”
After searching for a while, I found a club, but they only offered free rugby lessons. “I’ve never seen a rugby match in my life,” she said. However, that proved to be a much needed turning point in her life. Rugby became her solace as she navigated difficult life situations.
Today, she is an established rugby player who has competed in several major tournaments in the country. Her dream is to try out for the Indian rugby team. “I know there are some weaknesses that I need to work on but I hope I will,” she said. “I am so grateful to DFC and the way it has changed my life.”