While the biggest part of this challenge has been focussed on getting in 30 minutes of exercise daily for 30 days, the broader message and theme of the project is about getting Dubai healthier in the long term, and inspiring every man, woman and child in the city to continue building on the momentum of getting fit, and, perhaps more importantly, staying fit.
In the build-up to the event, we spoke to undefeated heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua – appearing on stage over the course of the two days – who says that the key to maintaining fitness is about making, and keeping, it fun. If it’s not your job, like it is for Joshua, then it’s about keeping it entertaining, otherwise it’s easy to lose the motivation.
“Some of the people coming to Dubai Fitness Challenge will wake up with a goal in the morning and make fitness a part of their regime, but it’s not a goal to change their whole career path,” he tells Time Out Dubai. “So it’s about making it fun, making it interactive but still keeping an element of fitness. The whole narrative of this is for people to continue this type of cycle after Dubai Fitness Challenge is over.”
And that’s what Joshua will be helping Dubaians do during his sessions at the Dubai Fitness Challenge grand finale. He says his sessions are yet to be completely finalised, but it will be inclusive, fun and active, but something that everyone can participate in.
“I’m still planning it,” he says. “But my day-to-day fitness regime is very intense, very, very intense, and with a goal to complete.”
And while he promises his sessions won’t bring quite the same intensity as his daily routine, Joshua says the benefit of pushing that little bit harder will leave not just visual and physiological health benefits, but also mental benefits and a healthier state of mind.
“Some people get obsessed with the life of fitness, you know? From a visual standpoint people start to feel great about themselves and it soothes their ego, which is great. But some people use it as a way of feeling good, because fitness isn’t just about sweating and running a hundred miles in the heat, it’s a mental thing as well.”
All the more reason to see this world champion boxer strut his stuff at the season closing event this weekend then. Nov 17-18. Dubai Festival City www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com.
If you’ve been feeling particularly inspired by Dubai Fitness Challenge, and reckon you’re the next Anthony Joshua, check out these three boxing gyms in Dubai.
TK MMA & Fitness From mixed martial arts and boxing to kids classes and pilates, TK’s MMA & Fitness offers a huge range of fitness sessions, classes, group workouts and more to get you training and keep you motivated. You’ll get a one-day free trial if you book online, and you can make use of the many facilities around the gym, including a free weights zone, an outdoor functional area, an outdoor swimming pool, spa services, an MMA cage and, of course, a boxing ring. Shatha Tower, Dubai Media City, www.tkmmafit.com (04 452 3388).
Round 10 Boxing Club It calls itself the only specialised boxing gym in the UAE, where you can expect structured and mixed classes, catering for men and women of all abilities and fitness levels. With classes running from 7am until 1pm and from 4.30pm until 9.15pm every day except Fridays (where there are two morning sessions), you’re bound to find a class that suits your level and schedule. Various locations, including Al Quoz, www.round10boxing.com (04 338 0101).
TargetGym A multipurpose gym franchise found across Dubai, but with a dedicated kickboxing gym in Silicon Oasis where, between 8.30am and 8.30pm you can head to a range of boxing related fitness sessions throughout the week, including kickboxing group classes, boxing fitness, Muay Thai and personal training sessions. Various locations, including Silicon Oasis, www.targetgym.ae (800 827438).