No more strapping on your trainers and pounding the pavements in the driving rain – so what’s on offer to British Mums in Dubai to keep fit in the sunshine? From bouncing the morning away, to enjoying a morning on the water, to signing up the whole family to a fun packed colour run, we take a look at the fitness trends making waves in the city…
1. Making the most of the water
We have beaches and waves back home, of course – but let’s face it; they aren’t bathed in sunshine nearly 365 days a year (and peeling off a cold, wetsuit doesn’t quite have the same appeal). Thanks to the calm, mild waters of Dubai, on the other hand, keeping fit in water is big news in this city. From learning the art of Stand Up Paddle Boarding (that’s SUP to those in the know), to taking up kayaking, to kitesurfing, to flyboarding (yes, it’s a thing), you’re guaranteed to feel a little smug when you think back to all those monotonous sessions on a treadmill back home.
2. Taking part in sponsored events
When Dubai organises sponsored walks and runs, they happen on a grand scale – and it makes a brilliant alternative to brunches and beaches at the weekend. From 5K Color Runs (the only time you’ll be happy the kids are covered head-to-toe in paint), to joining the Beat Diabetes Walk, which has a carnival atmosphere as it winds through one of Dubai’s biggest parks in the winter months, tens of thousands of Dubai residents take part in sponsored fitness events every year – and the kids won’t even know they are exercising…
3. Setting the alarm for boot camps
Want to get back in shape quickly? You’re going to need to commit to some serious cardio training – and what better way to do it than heading outside at the crack of dawn and joining a boot camp before the day has even begun? Your surroundings could be sand, grass, or track (or in fact, an air-conditioned gym during the warmest months) – but the main thing is that you are moving (and not stopping for at least an hour). If you need someone to shout at you to keep moving (all for the greater good, of course), this is your thing.
4. Taking baby along too
Just had a baby? If you are ready to get back in shape, that little person is no obstacle to keeping fit in Dubai. Plenty of gyms and fitness facilities runs classes in the city that involve your baby in the action, from using the buggy as resistance on running tracks, to lifting your baby instead of weights, to getting all zen in mother and baby yoga poses, your baby makes the perfect fitness partner. Oh and then there’s the gyms that boast nurseries and nannies, so you can enjoy some ‘me time’ as you train. It’s pretty tempting, we know.
5. Joining a club
Not feeling motivated? With so much temptation in this city for playing and partying hard in the evening (lady’s night, anyone?), it makes sense to sign up to a fitness club for added camaraderie. From regular training sessions pounding the running tracks of Dubai’s parks, to strapping into the saddle at the Al Qudra cycling track, to joining a netball or volleyball team for some friendly competition, to signing up to a mall walking club for air-conditioned power walks, getting involved in the structure of an organised club will introduce you to like-minded people and give you extra incentive to keep your fitness drive on track.
6. Bouncing fit
It might surprise you, but trampoline parks aren’t just for kids – and several companies that have opened their doors in Dubai over the past few years now offer early morning fitness sessions to get back in shape. Drop the kids off at school, drive straight over, and spend a fun-filled hour bouncing away to some high-octane tunes. You won’t feel like it’s exercise (until the next morning when you are aching all over, that is), but the sessions involve cardio fitness at its finest. Just don’t reveal to the kids how much fun you’ve been having on their patch…