Latest World News: Walking in malls: the latest fitness trend in Saudi Arabia – Ara

RIYADH: An increasingly familiar sight in Saudi malls is of people stretching their legs and walking past shoppers.

Mall walking, or mallercise, is a safe and free option for people who want to be physically active and prefer not to pay high fees to join a gym. It is especially appealing when hot weather makes outdoor activities too uncomfortable. Indeed, walking in malls has become common among Saudi residents, a way to keep tabs on sales while burning calories.

Walking is widely considered one of the most beneficial core forms of exercise, and step counting is a great motivational tactic for achieving fitness goals. So, for many men and women, an hour’s walk to the mall is a two-for-one.

Manal Alanazi, a 40-year-old Saudi resident of Riyadh, told Arab News: I like to walk at night, and walking around the mall is my best option as I feel safer than walking around my neighborhood. There is a security guard at each door and all around the mall.

I’ve been a custodian for a long time and can tell when people walk into the mall if they’re there for shopping or exercising.

Ahmed SaidMall security guard

There are more men than women walking around malls, according to Ahmed Saeed, security guard at Al-Nakheel mall in Riyadh.

I have been a caretaker for a long time and can tell when people enter the mall whether they are there for shopping or exercising, he said, adding that walking in the mall is particularly popular during Ramadan. This is the busiest period. Partly because of Eid shopping, but mostly because people are trying to maintain weight or lose weight before Eid.

As the number of malls across the Kingdom increases, so does the number of walkers in malls. However, as noted by Saeed Abdullah, a 58-year-old retired engineer from Eastern Province, not all malls are suitable for exercise.

I live in Dammam, and although there are several malls here, I only go to one particular mall for my daily walk as it is structured like an indoor running track, he said.

Mall walking is particularly suitable for older people who may not want to go to a crowded gym and for whom many sports can now pose a physical risk. Fatmah Alomar, a physical trainer at a gym in Riyadh, said we hardly see any old people. Most of our gym members are young girls and middle aged women.

In recent years, we have added an indoor running track in our gymnasiums to attract more seniors to join our centers, and there is a set of machines to help those with knee pain, Alomar continued.

The trend of walking in malls suggests that people in the Kingdom have found creative ways to work on their fitness. Sports Boulevard, one of the megaprojects being developed in Riyadh, will also make safe and comfortable walking spaces more accessible to city dwellers.

Planned to be the largest linear park in the world, Sports Boulevard will include more than 50 sports facilities to promote the physical and social health of everyone in Riyadh, providing an alternative, permanent and superior option for those who exercise in shopping malls, said Ahmad bin Askar, Communications Director of Sports Boulevards.

One of the main goals of Sports Boulevard is to encourage residents of all age groups, including senior citizens, to participate in grassroots sports. It will be a combination of green living through state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities, according to bin Askar.

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An Overview of Global Events in 2023

In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.

Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.

Economic Transformations:
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.

Technological Advancements:
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.

Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.

Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.