Saudi Women run on Jeddah Streets to promote fitness culture in Saudi Arabia

In the present world, everyone is leading a very busy life and in all the hustle and bustle we forget to keep ourselves physically fit. This is not a compromise that we can make with ourselves and our body.

In order to be successful one must be physically healthy as well. It is not necessary to perform exercises that require equipment and space as running is the best form of cardio and it can be done anywhere at any time.

Rasha Al-Hambra is a health enthusiast and the founder of bliss runners. She believes that running is the best and easiest form of exercise that helps us remain fit and healthy. She started running during the time she was living in the United States.

When she came back to her hometown, Jeddah she wanted to promote the culture of running in women so she conducted a survey which had quite surprising results. This led Rasha to form a running group which she called the bliss runners.

She says that running creates a feeling of bliss that is why she calls them the bliss runners. Rasha started running and in her very first run, 15 women joined her most of whom were her family and friends.

Soon the number started to increase and presently, there are 100 registered women with the bliss runners, 65 of whom are active runners.  The promotion of the group is mainly through Instagram where they post the pictures of their daily runs.

The other thing is that when such a large group of 100 women is running on the streets, the passersby notice them and even stand on the sides watching them go, supporting them by giving them the thumbs up or cheering them.

They draw a lot of attention on the streets as this is something very different on the streets of Saudi Arabia.  The runners do not have a specific running area but rather they run anywhere they want to in the city.

Sometimes they can be seen running near historical sites and sometimes near the Red Sea or around the stadium and commercial compounds. They run almost 4-6 kilometers thrice a week in which they also practice running drills in which they improve their running techniques and posture.

They also practice techniques to increase their stamina and to strengthen their legs, core, and upper body so that they can run for a longer time and distance.

The group has taken special measures to dress modestly. They have designed special abayas in which the women can run comfortably and at the same time are dressed in a modest way. The abayas are great for women who work out and lead an active lifestyle.

The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia has also supported the bliss runners by opening up training facilities for them around Jeddah and at the King Abdullah Sports City. The authorities have also supported the bliss runners with legal issues regarding permits etc.

10 members of the group participated in the Dubai Women’s Run in November and the group hopes to participate in the international runs as well. Apart from this, they have launched a teens training programme for boys and girls aged 14-18.

They also want to start these programmes in schools and further expand their campaign. They are looking for sponsors in order to start a national youth runners team and achieve other goals as well.

Physical education is very important for everyone in order to stay fit, be healthy and work efficiently. It must be promoted throughout educational institutes and offices.

Source: Gulf News