Fitness festival reignites call for health and well-being

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Haya Sawan, founder of Jeddah’s Shefit Gym, fitness trainer, coach and healthy lifestyle enthusiast began her career career as a fitness trainer for pregnant or post-partum women and grew to expand her scope helping many on through her social media pages and more. (Social media)
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Nawal Alkhalawi, health and wellness coach and founder of Food Evolution, a health and wellness coaching services for individuals looking to improve their lifestyle and find more balance. (Social media)
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Najia Alfadl, one of many emerging new breed of young athletes and coaches in the fitness industry. She began her career in 2014 at 18 years old and currently holds certifications in CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Weightlifting Level 1, WCO Calisthenics Level 1 and WCO Calisthenics Level 2. (Social media)
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Updated 15 June 2020

Fitness festival reignites call for health and well-being

  • The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has been leading a number of campaigns to promote a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Trainers, chefs, athletes and therapists united to provide three days of virtual talks, workout segments and more as part of an initiative to keep people moving and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) has been leading a number of campaigns to promote a healthy lifestyle in the Kingdom and to encourage everybody to keep active, especially during these trying times.
The KSA Women’s Fitness Festival, one of SFA’s recent virtual events, brought together a number of the Kingdom’s and region’s best female athletes, nutritionists, therapists, trainers and more under one platform for a three-day virtual event that focused on well-being, fitness and inspirational talks from top industry leaders.
As many women try to find time to incorporate some physical activity into their daily schedule, workout segments were provided by top trainers such as Amal Baatia, Haya Sawan, Manal Rostom, Najia Alfadl, Nelly Attar and Tracy Harmoush, who joined in from Dubai and gave a calisthenics flow session for viewers.
Haya Sawan, founder of Jeddah’s Shefit Gym told Arab News that her “Mommy and me” sessions were aimed at encouraging children to start learning how to be active, with the added bonus of spending quality time with their mothers.
“As far as Mommy and me classes go, I was excited to introduce functional training as it can be designed easily to fit all ages. I’ve always encouraged everyone to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I was excited to get the younger generation moving,” said Sawan.
“Through simple easy movements using tools from around the house, the sessions were fun and it also allowed kids to get involved. I liked how the SFA and I were on the same level. Times are tough and a lot of people are at home and unmotivated, but through this initiative, it got people moving a bit.”
The festival, as Sawan said, is one that could help a lot of people not only to look at a range of workouts, but also to educate themselves and try out something new that could be part of an evolving lifestyle change to a healthier self, as the large number of sessions catered to a wide group of people.
Over the course of three days, participants enjoyed sessions on meal prepping and nutrition with Nawal Alkhalawi, where she explained simple ways to create healthy and delicious meals at home.

HIGHLIGHT

The KSA Women’s Fitness Festival, one of SFA’s recent virtual events, brought together a number of the Kingdom’s and region’s best female athletes, nutritionists, therapists and trainers under one platform.

With her background in gastronomy, nutrition and food trends from Le Cordon Bleu, the culinary school in London, she raises awareness on the importance of maintaining a healthy meal regimen using everyday ingredients.
“Cooking your own healthy food is simpler than one thinks. My message through my health coaching practice is to go back to nature, it’s actually very simple and doesn’t require a lot of education,” she said.
“The message that I wanted to relay through this event is to provide a solution for busy individuals and for people who care about what they’re intaking. It’s easy eating balanced meals without it being a chore. Eating diverse and natural food is always the best way,” she added.
Najia AlFadl is described as one of the new breed of young Saudi athletes and coaches in Saudi’s fitness scene, and her HIIT workout brought another level of intensity to the sessions, allowing viewers to get a glimpse of the effectiveness of high intensity workouts.
“One of the rules I go by is variation, because it’s important to keep our bodies exposed to different types of workouts, learn different skills and develop further in your preferred practice,” said Alfadl. “This festival encourages women to be active even during a pandemic and it helps build a generation of active members and builds a stronger community which is what women want to be a part of.”
The live streams are available on the festival’s YouTube page.
As part of the Quality of Life program of Saudi Vision 2030, the SFA continues to focus on increasing the health and wellness of the residents of the Kingdom through education, community volunteering, fitness and wellbeing and health campaigns for all segments of society.


$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

Updated 9 min 1 sec ago

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

  • Saudi capital’s planning chief unveils ambitious strategy ahead of G20 urban development summit

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is launching a SR3 trillion ($800 billion) plan to double the size of Riyadh in the next decade and transform it into an economic, social and cultural hub for the region.

The ambitious strategy for the capital city was unveiled by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, ahead of key meetings of the U20, the arm of the G20 leaders’ summit that deals with urban development and strategy.

“Riyadh is already a very important economic engine for the Kingdom, and although it’s already very successful, the plan now, under Vision 2030, is to actually take that way further, to double the population to 15 million people,” he told Arab News.

“We’ve already launched 18 megaprojects in the city, worth over SR1 trillion, over $250 billion, to both improve livability and deliver much higher economic growth so we can create jobs and double the population in 10 years. It’s a significant plan and the whole city is working to make sure this happens.”

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 18 megaprojects have already been launched worth over $250 billion.
  • 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years.
  • King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The city also aims to be a Middle East artistic and cultural hub. An opera house is being considered, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world. “We have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plans will be discussed this week during online meetings of the U20 linking Riyadh with Houston. The Texas oil capital is suffering a new spike in coronavirus cases and pandemics will be on the agenda. “We want to deal with this one, but also be ready for the next one,” Al-Rasheed said.