Friends launch health group offering workouts at Safa Park which are open to all

People with any fitness level are welcome to join and workouts that take place every Friday at 9:30am in Safa Park.
Dubai // One woman's fitness journey led her and her friends to start a group that offers free workouts.

Eliana Karam, 29, from Lebanon, began her lifestyle change two years ago after a friend pushed her into signing up with a gym.

“It takes a true friend to have the courage to tell you that things in your life need to change,” she said.

Although she suffered sore muscles, Ms Karam stayed committed and realised that people who push you to be healthy, care about you.

“It is love to care about your friends, it is love when you help them get healthy. Today I live by it. I am spreading the love of giving back health and fitness,” she said.

In November 2013, Ms Karam – who was living in Bahrain at the time – and her friend decided to head to a park to unwind.

“It left me thinking, ‘Why don't we invite everyone to the park?' It is inexpensive, we don't need equipment, it is outdoors, the weather is fantastic in November – no excuses,” she said.

It was then that Uplift ME was started by her and friend Hadil Mansour, along with some other enthusiasts in Bahrain. It officially launched this year.

The goal is to be present in every country, she said, and after she moved to Dubai in February, Uplift ME began holding work-out groups in Dubai as well as Bahrain.

Ms Karam said friends should not be charged to work out, and that is why there is no charge. The “gift of health and fitness” is free.

“The workout starts even if only one person shows up,” she said.

Despite the approach of summer, Ms Karam thinks the weather should not be an excuse to be inactive. “We need to find ways to keep moving – our bodies are not built to be sat on a chair the whole day.

“It is so rewarding watching the changes you could make, the impact you have on somebody's life – your positive impact. That means the world to me.”

People with any fitness level are welcome to join. Workouts are every Friday at 9.30am in Safa Park near Gate 2. You can follow them on Twitter at @upliftMEFitness.

Published: May 10, 2014 04:00 AM