By Faten Omar

 KUWAIT: Sports and fasting can be a challenging combination, and yet walkways in Kuwait are full of people who decided to change their lifestyle during Ramadan. Kuwait Times asked people about their sports journeys during fasting and whether it was crucial to plan their meals and workouts accordingly. Muhammad Al-Harbi said that his daily walking routine started 20 years ago. Walking was a passion for Harbi, and the number on the scale wasn’t an issue for him.

“Losing weight was never my main goal. I don’t think about losing weight as much as I do about burning food I have already consumed and keeping my routine going,” he said, adding that his eating habits during Ramadan have become more organized. “I believe that Ramadan is a wonderful opportunity to modify bad eating habits and transform them into healthy, positive ones. Also, I started using the stairs more often,” he said.

Harbi revealed that the most useful walkways in Kuwait are those near the seaside due to the clear weather. “In Kuwait, people don’t walk often, first because of the weather and, secondly, because the design of the streets is not safe enough for walking. The most important thing is that people go out at a time when the weather or air is clear, but unfortunately, Kuwait (a small country) has its own pollution issues,” he explained.

For Muhammad Al-Fadhli, walking is not only for young people but has also become very popular with the elderly, pointing out that the elderly are keen to practice it during the dawn hours after prayers, while young people prefer it before Iftar or in the evening. “I started walking five years ago. I lost about 25 kilos. Walking has many benefits. It helps you to keep fit and deters the risk of age-related diseases such as diabetes,” he said, adding that he conducted a test that showed that he is at risk of developing the disease. He was advised to exercise more and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Fadhli enjoys walking, especially when the weather is great, but he affirmed that some walkways lack essential services. “Some walkways lack toilets and paths for cyclists. Also, some sports machines are rusty due to a lack of periodic maintenance,” Fadhli explained.

Abdullah Amro is disappointed over the lack of cycling routes. “Many people are comfortable seeing cyclists in crowded walkways. The government should create walkways with cycling routes and some areas for families to spend their time away from the hustle and bustle of restaurants and cafes. Exercising during Ramadan helped me lose more than five kilograms. It is recommended to break your fast with a light meal, followed by a more substantial meal and then a workout,” Fadhli said.