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Walk it out: Why walking is a popular exercise in Kuwait

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: People walk for several reasons, such as reducing the level of stress they might have from being overburdened with work, to remain fit, or just to enjoy the day. Kuwait Times met several walkers and asked them about the reason they practice this sport.

Ahmad Hassan said he usually walks two to three times a week by the seaside, and would like to make it a regular habit. “I mostly prefer walking over going to the gym because it gives me more flexibility to practice sport whenever I have free time. In addition, practicing sport in open air is much better than being in a closed place,” he said. “For those over 40, for example, there are some types of sports that are not suitable, such as heavy training at sports clubs. Meanwhile, walking is one of the safest sports that can be practiced despite the hot weather we suffer from in the country,” Hassan added.

“I started walking three years ago and prefer it because I can take advantage of short free times, while other sports have to be scheduled and need time to prepare. Walking is easier and quicker,” Asmaa Ali said “Meanwhile, due to the hot weather that we have here in Kuwait, instead of going outside, I walk in malls, which gives me the same results, which is clearing my mind and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

Yasmin Abdullah stressed many people in Kuwait practice walking because it is a way to enjoy their day after work, and is a better and healthier way to spend their time. “I started to change my lifestyle and go for walks, especially with this better weather, because it has great benefits for the body and mental health, and removes the daily stress we face at work,” she said, adding she does not prefer going to the malls in the hot weather and goes to gyms instead.

Yasser Ahmad told Kuwait Times he practices walking three times a week, depending on work pressure. “I think it is one of the best sports due to the higher metabolism it results in, especially when walking briskly and not just randomly,” he said. He pointed out that this type of sport encourages people to practice it because it is not hard and does not induce laziness. Going to sports clubs requires training hard, and goers don’t have enough free time, he added.

“I practice walking to increase the burn rate in my body, as the lifestyle in Kuwait does not include walking a lot as people mostly use cars. So our weekly schedule should have some sports in it. If a person has free time in his day and the will to commit, they should go to the gym and do heavy training to build a better body and reach a higher metabolism,” Mohammad Saeed said.

“During the COVID pandemic, I started walking, and found it a great experience that improved my mental health and mood. Despite the situation back then, it was great to find people walking most of their time,” said Amal Al-Mullah. “The main problem that we face now is that we don’t have enough time to walk as our work schedule is full. But during the pandemic, we had enough time to do lots of things that we wanted do, and one of them was walking.”

Mullah stressed the importance of sports to reduce stress, adding walking, especially by the seaside, gives lungs clean air that benefit mental health and the body. “Going to the gym also has several benefits, but it forces me to go there daily due to the money you pay for the membership, which you will lose if you skip days,” she added.

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