The gym and fitness industry has, of late, flourished in the country. The credit for this boom partially goes to some actors, actresses, fashionistas who flaunt their well-groomed bodies and muscles on screen and inspire many youngsters. There are various other major factors behind the popularity of fitness gyms in the country. As specialists explain, the health awareness has increased and an increasing number of individuals are going to gyms so as to counter the side-effects of their urban lifestyles. Rising cases of diabetes and high rates of blood pressure are also prompting people to take health, diet and fitness seriously.
However, some people think that exercising in nature afforded people a greater feeling of revitalisation and positive energy, as well as decreasing tension, confusion, anger and depression. “Fitness and fresh air go very well together”, says Abdulrahman al Mamari who walks on the beach every evening. “It lowers stress and recharge the mental batteries. Watching people exercise, looking at nature, greenery and the sea entertain and motivate him to walk more”.
Azzan al Ghaithi says, “Well, that totally depends upon your goals. If you want to build muscles, then having regular walks won’t make any difference. But walking regularly helps you to stay fit. If you want to have a model type of body, then you have to go to gym regularly.”
“One of the biggest advantages of joining a gym is the availability of a wide array of equipment including cardio machines, strength machines, weights, boxing kits and various functional training gears”, Azzan adds.
To Omani women, the gym is necessary, Rahma al Zeedi believes. The nature of the Omani community doesn’t welcome outdoor exercising for women a lot. They think that gyms are a better environment because women can wear whatever they wish inside. They can run, walk, dance or practise other exercises freely in a closed space. “They will avoid being harassed by others”.
She adds, “In Islam, we are obliged to follow certain rules for dressing and behaving. The only thing we can do outside is walking, but running and other exercises are not allowed. Of course, we prefer to exercise outdoor and we wish that any gym would change the routinely boring ideas of gyms in closed areas. I don’t think that a gym in an open space is a dream like idea”. From her point of view, Shamsa al Riyami says that exercising is a growing practice among women now. Even in villages you see women walking in the parks and beaches. The restrictions of dresses might cause some irritation for women but most of them manage to deal with it”.