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Fitness awareness growing among Saudis: Experts

Saudis are much more conscious about their health than they used to be, and are taking life-changing steps in that regard, according to fitness experts in the Kingdom.
“The fitness industry has expanded a lot in Saudi Arabia, where most people now are aware about the benefits of a workout on their health,” Bassma Mukhtar, 22, who is certified with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a personal trainer, told Arab News.
“More females are rejecting the myth that sports are bad for women, and are joining gyms to get in shape,” she added.
“Saudis are now exposed to fitness through events, campaigns, social media and many more outlets.”
Fitness is not always about having to stick to a strict diet, or working out all week with no rest days, Mukhtar said.
“Fitness is about finding what helps you lose the weight of a stressful day, or challenging yourself to new limits.”
Mukhtar sees it as her mission to help women in the Kingdom turn their lives around. Sometimes people need a push to discover what they are capable of, “and when they do, it becomes a habit for them,” she said.
Reham Kamal, 31, an athlete and founder of the RK Fit workout studio in Jeddah, also sees a rise in fitness awareness among Saudis.
“I’m so proud of that because two years ago, many ladies I trained focused only on their body shape, but now it’s more about how they see it as their lifestyle,” Kamal told Arab News.
She advises people to try various sports, saying: “You’ll find one that you’ll enjoy for the rest of your life.”
Kamal stressed the importance of being health-conscious, adding: “Prevention is better than cure.”