"How I Stay in Shape" by Deborah Dixon

Zimbabwe-born mum-of-two, Deborah Dixon, went from couch potato to walking queen with Stride for Life
"How I Stay in Shape" by Deborah Dixon
Deborah Dixon

Since being in the UAE, Deborah has taken on her eating and exercise demons and won, not to mention starting her own successful business to help hundreds of other people do the same.

Inspired, after she managed to get fit enough to complete the Dubai Marathon, the 42 year-old founded Stride for Life, an exercise programme based on her own training and race success and designed to be suitable for anyone, of any level. Deborah’s business is now thriving with 900 members.

Deborah loves being able to keep in shape outdoors and life in the desert has allowed her to do just that. But she wasn’t always so dedicated. “I suppose I have always been quite aware of the principles of healthy eating and regular exercise, but, like a lot of people, I used to struggle to find the motivation to stick to them,” confesses Deborah. “I would be something of a yo-yo dieter and exerciser, with all the attendant weight, mood and confidence swings.”

But, since she moved back to Dubai from Dublin in 2003, Deborah has learned the secret to long-term health and happiness, not to mention the key to running a successful business. “I discovered that if I went at my own pace, I could run. That was something worth sharing  with other people struggling to get fit, so I set up Stride for Life.”

She adds; “In the past, I had always tried to keep up with other training partners, or followed programmes that  were too advanced for me. I would stick to it for a while, but inevitably end up  injured, or just de-motivated. I hear so many similar stories from my clients.” But, according to Deborah, Stride for Life, offers something different. “New members meet an advisor from our team, on an individual basis, to assess their current lifestyle and exercise habits. Once you’ve become a member, we all meet up three times a week, in a central location and train together. After we warm-up, walkers walk and runners run. You do whatever you feel comfortable with. It’s as simple as that.”

Deborah’s key to health and happiness is to “find an activity you enjoy and go for it”. She’s done just that.

Find out more about Stride for Life at www.strideforlife.com.