Liberating movement

Walking for exercise has been receiving lots of attention. More importantly, it has lots of new followers

Pedestrians on the Marina Walk pathway in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
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The #startwalking challenge ends exactly a week from today, but it has begun a quiet revolution – one step at a time. There is no question that there is greater awareness of the need to get moving to get fit and the myriad ways that one can do this. As The National has reported, some people were so determined to walk they did it in malls, where it is cool. Others ditched the lift at work and took the stairs instead. And for some people, the whole exercise of going for a walk had to be outdoors, with the sort of stimulating, changing views guaranteed to put a spring in their step. Along the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, on any of Dubai’s beaches, or, as 30 women did in early March, following in the footsteps of Emiratis of yore and walking 140 kilometres through the dunes from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi.

Just as happened with our #cycletoworkUAE campaign in January, a national conversation has begun about the benefits of walking. The #startwalking challenge will end but the movement won’t stop.