Wednesday, 17 July 2024
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Due to the heat, Saudis are now jogging and walking in malls

  • The Riyadh Mall is a haven for joggers and walkers who are thankful for a cool place to work out.
  • With the growing interest in physical fitness, mall walking is becoming more and more common in Saudi Arabia.
  • Shopping malls offer a more social and energetic experience for those who are still getting their feet wet.

The Riyadh Mall’s air-conditioned concourse is packed even though the stores haven’t opened yet; it’s a haven for joggers and walkers who are thankful for a cool place to work out.

Mohammed Sultan, a 55-year-old engineer, is among the early-morning crowd. He is wearing black sneakers and a white T-shirt, and he is circling the mall in a circle with his wife, who is wearing a niqab.

Jogging and Walking in malls

Due to the lack of appropriate spaces for working out and the growing interest in physical fitness, mall walking is becoming more and more common in Saudi Arabia.

Races such as the Riyadh Marathon are arranged by the Saudi Sports for All Federation in an attempt to lower obesity rates, but these are sporadic events and new gyms frequently have exorbitant membership costs.

Work has started on a 135-kilometer (85-mile) Sports Boulevard in the capital that will have pathways for cyclists, walkers, and horseback riders. Years will still pass before this project is finished, though.

Many people view malls as “the only option” because they are controlled, air-conditioned, and safe for women, free of dust, pollution, and traffic. People can exercise in an enclosed space even when the weather isn’t ideal, like in the springtime during sandstorms or during winter showers.

For those who want to walk at any time of day or year, commercial centers provide the perfect option. Exercise outside is better for you than staying inside, according to most studies, says Riyadh-based Lebanese fitness trainer Hassan Merhi, who advises his clients to walk as much as they can.

Shopping malls offer a more social and energetic experience for those who are still getting their feet wet, while mall walks aid in stress reduction and fat burning.

Conclusively, the growing popularity of mall walking as a sport in Saudi Arabia can be attributed to the country’s lack of appropriate workout spaces and increased interest in body fitness.

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