Jeddah Blog

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Archive for the tag “Fitness”

How To Walk Off Your Stress

Kim Lyon is a trainee therapist at the ACT Center. Each month she’ll be writing for Jeddah Blog about a particular  aspect of mental well-being. She offers counselling services to the expat community in Jeddah, helping to ease the stresses of moving abroad through workshops and individual sessions. An expat herself, Kim is in a good position to understand the difficulties an expat may face.

In this first blog post, Kim will be talking about the health benefits of exercise and giving us some great tips on how we can take steps to keep fit. If you are like many of us who have transportation constraints and find it difficult to get to a gym, Kim will give you some great ideas on how to get moving without even leaving your living room.

If you have any questions for Kim, leave them at the end of this blog post, and she’ll get back to you.

2015 has arrived, and no doubt many of us are resolving to be healthier this year.  Gym owners delight as people flock to sign up for memberships. While you are thinking about your good intentions for the coming months, consider also the mental benefits of working out.

Exercise is a great stress reliever. It releases feel good chemicals, endorphins, into our blood and lowers levels of cortisol, a stress-related hormone. Studies have shown that exercise can boost our memories and levels of self-confidence. Team sports can be an opportunity to socialize and learn new skills. Using energy gives us energy, though sometimes it’s a matter of getting started.

brain exercise

There are an increasing number of gyms in Jeddah, including chains such as Fitness First, Fitness Time, and Gold’s Gym. A quick Google search reveals many independent gyms across the city, too. For women, Olympia (behind Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital), Gold’s Gym and some of the high-end hotels have gyms, although memberships are extremely expensive.

Thankfully, incorporating exercise into your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean long sweaty hours at the gym or spending lots of money on equipment. The Middle Corniche and Main Corniche are excellent, safe places to walk, often with the added benefit of a breeze.  Walkways have become quite popular and the promenade along the Flood Canal Street in Rawdah is a great place to walk.  If mall-walking appeals, head to Al Salaam Mall or the Mall of Arabia. Both are usually quiet in the mornings and can offer a good walk. If you fancy hiking in the desert, look up Jeddah Backpackers or the Hash Harriers. Research has shown that walking can increase our immunity, bone density and mood. It also can act as a free insurance policy against heart disease and obesity.

“Using energy gives us energy”

You don’t even need to leave your living room. Second-hand fitness equipment can be found online at sites such as, while fitness DVDs are available at Virgin Megastore. You may also want to check expat groups for fitness instructors offering private classes.

Youtube is a surprisingly great resource. Type in salsa, kick-boxing, tae bo, step-intervals – anything you are interested in – and you’ll likely find a workout or two! FitnessBlender has a huge selection of no-nonsense workouts catering for all levels of fitness.

While yoga is typically hailed as good for relaxation, we don’t all have the inclination to become human pretzels, and that’s ok. However, I would urge you to try it, because it’s such an excellent mind-body workout. has an amazing selection of different types of classes which you can stream or download, and is well-worth checking out no matter your age or ability.

Great weather for an evening walk.

Jeddah walkways are great for an evening walk or jog.

If you consider yourself a diehard couch potato, hopefully this article will prompt you to think again. Don’t follow the crowd or fitness trends. Think about what you like to do.  Extroverts might be more attracted to fitness with a social element, so might consider dance, tennis or team games, while introverts might prefer more solitary pursuits like swimming and hiking.

Please do consult your physician if you haven’t exercised in a long time. Don’t rush into a fitness program, and don’t push yourself to workout intensely everyday. Build up slowly from twenty minutes of exercise, two or three times a week. Aim to include activities you enjoy.  As with any commitment to a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to build sustainable habits.

Self Defense Workshop

Boost your confidence and self-protection! A Self Defense Workshop will be held for ladies and teenagers this Saturday, December 7. You can register via email or phone. Details for registration are below. The class size is limited so it’s important to register before the deadline of Friday, December 6 @ 8 p.m.

This is a workshop for martial artists and non-martial artists.  Some techniques will be taught for getting out of bad situations and participants will have a chance to practice them.  More importantly, it is about finding our own personal power.


Wellness Through the Martial Arts

What:  Self Defense Workshop

Date:  December 7, 2013

Who:  Teens/Ladies Ages 14 and up

Place:  Alif Center

Time:  1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Event Cost:  100 SAR per person

Class size is limited

Register Early!

Nancy says, “This is a basic self defense workshop intended for those with little or no martial arts training.  Come dressed for exercise as you will be given opportunity to practice the techniques I am teaching.”

Contact details:

Instructor: Nancy Boydston

Mobile:   055 5672123


You can find her on Facebook @ Blue Wave Club

Let’s Start Campaign: Anti-Obesity Drive

Jeddah Blog is delighted to introduce the ‘Let’s Start’ campaign to its readers which is an initiative by Tefal and Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital (DSFH), implemented by Tamkeen Sustainability Advisors.


“Let’s Start” is a campaign which aims to spread awareness and change behaviour among children and mothers in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle in Saudi Arabia.

The campaign organizers say:

“Sahsouh, our healthy character, is your friend who cares about your health and will help you eat well and get active. With Sahsouh you’ll find loads of tips, recipes and advice to make a change for life. Join us and let’s start creating a balance. With us you can simply be healthy..”

Free Annual Membership!
By simply joining their page, you will have the chance to win a free annual membership in the Olympia Fitness Centre of Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital. Read on for the competition details:

“Best Healthy Recipe Contest”
The healthy recipe contest is open for all children and their mothers.


Send the recipe you create along with the ingredients and instructions to their email address:

They will receive submissions from 12 October 2011 to 21st December 2011.

How can you win?
They will analyze recipes based on how healthy & appealing they are to kids. 20 semi-finalist will be selected by the DSFH nutritionist for the final stage of the contest.  Selected recipe submitters will be contacted to attend the ceremony along with her child and the dish she sent in. 3 children will taste the prepared dishes and will judge them based on taste and appeal. The 20 semi finalist recipes will be launched on their campaign website.

What can you get?
The winning mother will get a 1 year membership in the Olympia gym at the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital. The winning child will get a one year membership in the Olympia gym.

Physical fitness at the Olympia Gym.

Weekly Event
In the weekly event, they invite students from different schools each week to engage them in physical activities, Q&As with the Specialist and impart important tips about their nutrition and well-being. Healthy snacks are provided by Tefal.

The session is conducted every Monday in the Olympia gym, and follows this schedule:

11:00am-11:30am Registration & height and weight measurements
11:30am-12:00pm Exercise class (aerobics)
12:00pm-12:30pm Nutritionist and Educators Q&A , interactive talk with students
12:30pm-1:00pm Sample healthy snacks provided by Tefal and take pictures with characters
1:00pm Students leave court

If you would like to register in the weekly event, simply fill in the online form here.

– Sabaa Ali

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