STRIDE FOR LIFE PROGRAMME
About Stride For Life / Who we are
Stride for Life is an aerobic walking and running program designed to help people of all shapes, sizes, ages and fitness levels incorporate enjoyable exercise into a long term, healthier lifestyle.
We are all made to be strong, fit, healthy and lean, but modern lifestyles often get in the way of achieving that. "I don't have time"; "I'm too tired"; "I'm too busy"; "I have too many other commitments"; "I don't know how to start"; "I am afraid of looking silly"; "I want to lose some weight first".
I know these excuses because I have, at some point, used them all myself. I always believed myself to be 'un-athletic' and saw exercise as more of a punishment than a pleasure. I was a 'yo-yo exerciser' – I would do nothing for months and then reach a stage where I felt bad enough about my weight and my fitness to throw myself into a spurt of exhausting exercise sessions. Inevitably I would do too much too soon, and quickly find myself either with aches and pains, or just dreading the sessions. At the first opportunity for an 'excuse' I would be more likely to stay on the couch than to get out and be active!
Then, several years ago, a colleague suggested I join her in entering the Dublin Marathon (42.2km). I was at a somewhat 'stalled' stage in my life - working hard, stressed out, and making all the usual excuses for my unhealthy lifestyle. But this was a feat so completely unlikely for me, so totally out of character that it appealed. I knew no one would ever believe I would complete a marathon, except me. So I entered. Obviously taking on a challenge of this nature required a proper training programme – the absolute beginners' version!
I set off for my first run (jog/fast walk!) based on the training schedule and was home before I realised I had broken a sweat. No problem, no pain, no exhaustion, no dread … this was not the kind of exercise I remembered! Little by little I gradually progressed, and eventually was putting in considerable mileage. But I never hated it; I never felt that heart-pounding, lung-hurting over-exertion of the past. In fact, between the actual running and the tremendous encouragement and support from family and friends, I enjoyed it! Six months later I completed the Dublin Marathon. I have since completed many events of varying lengths (from 4km to 21km), several more marathons, and am always planning the next one. I have even raised money for charity through walking and running. The sense of physical wellbeing and personal achievement is priceless.
So yes, I had that thought … "If I can do it, anyone can do it". We just need to keep it simple, start slow, progress gradually, encourage each other … and maintain a grateful attitude for the fact that we can get out and be active at all. Especially in the modern, fast-paced, fast-food, driving-orientated city that Dubai is increasingly becoming we need to take care of our health. So I started Stride for Life to help others make that same commitment to themselves and their health, for life.
Whether you are taking up exercise for the first time, coming back to exercise after a period of inactivity, or already committed to being active, we will help you get going and be there to support you every step of the way.
Don't accept anymore of those 'little voice' excuses. Make yourself and your health the priority. Your boss or your customers might not thank you for living a longer, healthier and happier life; but your loved ones will.
Deborah Dixon (Founder, Stride for Life)
How It Works / What We Do
Once you contact us to set up an individual consultation, new members meet with their trainer on an individual basis to assess their current lifestyle and exercise habits. Your fitness level is assessed and a personalised exercise programme is recommended.
The programme is open to anyone over 12 years of age. Because your programme is tailored to your current activity and fitness level, even the very unfit and pregnant ladies can exercise safely. Collaboration with your doctor or other health professional on suitable exercise for specific health-related issues can be facilitated. For those already exercising regularly, Stride for Life offers a structured training environment and scientific performance monitoring.
You are taught to exercise at an intensity that offers maximum health and fitness benefits while still being enjoyable and safe. No breathlessness and exhaustion here!
We all meet three times a week at a central location to exercise. After warming up, walkers walk and runners run, depending on your preference, your exercise history, and what your trainer has recommended. You exercise in similar ability levels and get to know the group and make new friends as you progress gradually through the levels of the program.
You progress is kept track of and you can see your health and fitness improving in black and white in monthly computerised progress reports. Every 12 weeks you meet with your trainer individually to re-assess your fitness, record your improvement and adjust your exercise program accordingly if necessary.
Various fun walks and runs take place throughout the year in Dubai and further a field. You are kept up to date with upcoming events, and members who have attained a suitable level of fitness can work towards taking part if they wish.
Stride for Life is not about elite athletes training for Ultra Marathons … but you might end up that way if you stick to it and so choose!!