Thursday, September 28, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 12, 1445 H
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Walking gains pace in holy month

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Now in the last days of the holy month of Ramadhan, walkers and joggers trying to stay fit can be seen even in soaring temperatures. Experts encourage exercise but caution about the effect of working out on their bodies having had no food and water during the day.

Even though walking while fasting is a great experience, it requires courage. “I have come to notice that walking before iftar minimises appetite but we need to drink lots of water after a walk to make up for lost fluids,” said Samya al Nuumani, who was seen having a walk just before iftar.

“Among the physical activities, walking is the easiest and most affordable. It requires some discipline and a little time which everyone should necessarily have to stay healthy. I advise the youths to shun the habit of using cars for every small movement. Life can be more enjoyable if you stay healthy,” she said.

Nutritionists say that having more food and sugars when exercising – physical activity in general – is minimal and leads to gaining weight by the end of the month. “Exercise can be in different forms and walking is ideal during Ramadhan. However, people shouldn’t stop exercising after Ramadhan,” a nutritionist cautioned.

She was of the view that you can go for a walk before iftar or for more strenuous exercise after it. However, you need to be careful about the kind and time of exercise. “Exercising without having food or liquids for a long period of time is not ideal. We need to know our body before engaging in any form of exercise,” the nutritionist said.

In order to encourage healthy living and walking in proper places, Muscat Municipality has intensified efforts to improve the quality of its services by providing and expanding footpaths in residential neighbourhoods.


Muscat Municipality official told Oman Observer that promoting walking and laying out paths for walkers and joggers in the city is the main priority for the civic body. “Parks and gardens also offer nice walking environments but due to the ongoing pandemic, these facilities are currently closed. However, there are walkways in several neighbourhoods across the city that can be used to exercise.” Many walking paths have been laid out. Parks which have good walking and exercising facilities include Qurm Park, Riyam Park, Amerat Park and Sarooj; these locations see an increasing number of visitors in the months of Ramadhan.

“Physical activity means any utilisation of our skeletal muscles to spend energy and exercise means using the physical activity with an intention of fitness. The benefits of physical activities are weight control, improvement in blood circulation, strengthening bones and muscles, stress reduction and fewer chances of cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity can be anything from walking, jogging, dancing, cycling, and 150 hours per week for adults and 60 minutes per day for children,” Huda Masoud, a private sector employee said.

“Obese people are prone to many diseases. Thus I always put a thrust on the assimilation of some kind of physical activity into my daily routine. Walking among them is the best if it is done regularly,” she added.

According to health experts, as simple as it may sound, a walk of 30 minutes a day five times a week, greatly reduces the risk of many health conditions. A combination of regular exercise, a balanced diet and maintaining normal body weight are effective in minimising health risks. So walking makes absolute sense to stay healthy.


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