The DFC spreads a positive message each year that stays with many residents.
The Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) may have ended, but it has taught residents a lifestyle they can follow throughout the year to keep themselves fit and healthy. Exercising for 30 minutes every day, taking part in community fitness activities, eating healthy and motivating others to take part - the DFC spreads a positive message each year that stays with many residents.
For example, Santosh Kumar, a 45-year-old financial controller in Dubai, said the DFC is leading people towards a healthier life. He lost about 9kg during the challenge that ran from October 18 to November 16.
"It's great that the fitness challenge encouraged people to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. But I think people can take a full hour from their 24 hours every day and exercise," he said. "The challenge has really motivated people to get healthy and be more active. I started my fitness journey about two months ago and lost 13kg. I've been doing the Keto diet and walking every day for an hour. I got more involved when the DFC was launched and it really helped with keeping me motivated."
Kumar said getting into shape has helped improve many different aspects of life. He's now getting proper sleep and does not "snore any more". A doctor had also warned him that he could be getting diabetes soon, which also helped kick-start his journey to fitness.
A 17-year-old student, Amay Sathyan, said his generation "really needs" initiatives like the DFC, as it helps raise awareness on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. "Right now, our generation isn't at the best stage when it comes to fitness," he said. "The DFC is taking us in the right direction, especially due to the fact that nowadays obesity is on a rise."
Sathyan, who used to weigh 114kg, lost 34kg in about four months. "I reduced my calorie intake. I did intermittent fasting by having two meals per day, I started running a bit and went for walks in the evening. I burned more than what I ate," he said. "I had started gaining weight when I was in the fourth grade and it gained over the years to a point where I was 114kg and I realised I had to take a healthier step towards life. I was bullied and I got used to it but it always hurt inside. So, I was really motivated to get healthy."
He said a bit of daily exercise goes a long way. "Even with me, it has helped improve my productivity. If we apply the lesson the DFC taught us in just one month every day in our lives, it can really help."
The DFC offered Dubai residents new and exciting ways to live healthy and commit to 30 minutes of physical activity for 30 days. The all-inclusive fitness movement launched in 2017 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, saw Dubai transform into an open gym with fitness activities hosted across the city.