5 am. Grudgingly turn off alarm. Go for a run. Look at watch and sigh. There's another half hour to go.
12 pm. Weigh the protein and carbohydrate allowance for the day. If I eat this chocolate, I could run it off in 30 minutes. Shake out of daydream.
6 pm. Did this have the good fat or the bad?
Do these sound like your thoughts? Why trudge through each day when you live in the UAE? You've done a great job of including a good diet and activities in your day already - now let's make it fun.
There is no dearth of offbeat fitness activities - trampoline parks because getting your heart rate up can be some bouncy fun, bubble soccer is great quality time with friends while burning calories, kayaking for some mindful time in nature, paddle boarding because you don't know what you're missing out on, kite surfing is a great talking point for later, try parkour and piloxing (who knew pilates and boxing made for a great dance?) to master those G. I. Joe moves, virtual reality workouts to channel your inner Lara Croft, and there's even yoga time with your cat.
With the #DubaiFitnessChallenge underway, you have plenty of free fitness options to try out that you can then include in your lifestyle. FlyBarre (a full body work out with low weights), zumba, and tabata your way into the best version of you. Don't let the fun end this November - sign up for any of the fun runs around town or even a half marathon.
Even a small sampling of these activities on your part can fill up your year with fitness and inspire those around you. You should find out what your mind and body are capable of achieving.
Fitness fusion classes are fun
Fusion always works - in food, and even in fitness. Join a class that combines your favourite styles and you won't complain of boring workouts.
This workout style is an interesting mlange of three disciplines; ballet, yoga, and pilates. Apart from improving your posture, a barre workout also enhances flexibility.
Sweat it out at: Physique 57, City Walk & Al Thanya Mall
This fun combination of yoga and pilates guarantees a strengthened lower back, a stable spine, and an improved posture.
Sweat it out at: A Yogalates Bliss session at Fraiser Suites Dubai
This fusion of yoga and acrobatics has also been labelled the 'yoga of trust'. The workout style is generally performed with a partner, and helps improve balance, among other skills.
Sweat it out at: AcroYogaDubai, a community that conducts sessions across parks and fitness clubs
Or get fit with the new age fitness guru - YouTube tutorials, anyone?
What happens when you mix a little bit of pilates, add some boxing, and toss in some dance? You get piloxing! Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, and Hilary Duff are doing it too! Give it a shot!
This trendy dance workout fuses dance forms, tempos, and approaches. An interesting coming together of hip-hop and ballet, it combines the discipline and pointe technique of ballet with the freedom and attitude of hip-hop.
This is a HIIT (no, that's not a typo, it stands for high-intensity interval training) workout routine that lasts four minutes. Don't let the length of the workout fool you; it consists of eight rounds of high-intensity exercises, with an interval of 20 seconds.
Participate in full marathons, half marathons, and concept based runs
With the weather giving way to UAE's running season, you can look forward to participating in half marathons, full marathons, and even concept-based fun runs across the country. Keep challenging yourself to add yet another zero to your #fitnessdays and go for 300 days, 3,000 days, and so on until being fit is simply your lifestyle.
Dubai International Triathlon: Swim, cycle and run at the Dubai Waterfront Jebel Ali on 10 November at 6.30 am
The Colour Run: Daman's ActiveLife 5k run is a fun way to begin your day at the Dubai Autodrome in Motor City on 11 November at 8.30 am
Abu Dhabi Striders Half Marathon: Whether it's the half marathon or the 10k, head to Yas Waterworld on Yas Island on 17 November at 6.45 am
Dubai Creek Striders Half Marathon: Be a part of the 'world's most beautiful half marathon' at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club on 9 December at 6 am
Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge: Find out if you have it in you to cycle 92 km at the Dubai Autodrome in Motor City on 15 December at 6 am
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon: Be amongst international athletic icons at Umm Suqeim Road on 26 January at 6.30 am
RAK Half Marathon: Participate in one of the fastest half marathons in the world at Al Qawasim Corniche on 9 February at 6.45 am
We talk to the experts
Why do you think the people of Dubai have taken to yoga so readily?
The philosophy is simple - a healthy mind is a healthy body and vice versa. Regular yoga practice helps you achieve just this. Over the past few years, yoga has grown to become one of the most popular ways to remain fit, both mentally and physically. When I started about ten years ago, I remember that there were a handful of yoga studios and now this number has grown tremendously, which proves how yoga has made its way to become 'Dubai's golden way to shine and remain fit and fine'.
What are your thoughts on the ongoing Dubai 30x30 challenge?
Dubai 30x30 is a great initiative to challenge and transform oneself. The opportunity has been given to you; it's now your choice how you use those 30 minutes for 30 days to make a better you.
Sumit Manav, founder, Lifestyle Yoga
How important is it to eat green to stay fit?
Regardless of what form of fitness you practice, eating greens should be a large part of your diet. Greens provide essential vitamins and minerals to help you feel energized and stay focused.
How does junk affect our mind and body?
Excess junk food will make you feel tired which means you may want to skip your yoga practice. This could cause your mind to feel foggy and depressed. Providing your body with nutritious food allows you to have enough energy for a regular yoga practice helping you feel your best.
Stefani Bertoncini, DEFINE body & mind
Fitness apps that'll make you want to work out right away!
If Chandler and Ross lived in the world we live in - where there's an app for everything - they would've never tried quitting the gym. Thankfully, we have access to apps that constantly motivate us to get fit.
This app allows you to organise your workouts and gets into the figures and technicalities by creating an exercise database to keep you going.
With this app, you can combine the 'Year of Giving' with Dubai's vision to become 'the most active city in the world'. Choose a charity you want to support, and run or cycle for it - money is donated on your behalf for every mile you run.
Indulge in a variety of workout types (Latin Zumba, 5K/10K runs, and a cardio among others) with a variety of music genres from pop and poolside to high energy and hip-hop.
Free, $3.99 every month for Premium
Track your day's activity and workout progress in terms of calories burned, steps taken, and distance covered.
Free, $4 every month for Premium
Filter your fitness choices according to your location, activity type, and purchase memberships.
Give these quirky workouts a shot!
Let's face it; we all have lazy days when we spend more time procrastinating and chalking out excuses instead of hitting the gym. These trendy workout styles will have you spend more time at the gym than usual.
Virtual reality workout
Labelled 'the future of fitness', The Trip is a 40-minute cycling workout developed by Les Mills. Cycle while facing a cinema-scale screen that blares loud music and displays challenging scenes. Participate at GFX in Dubai and eliminate the 'work' from workouts.
Glow in the dark yoga
Urban Yoga's glow flow yoga session involves a dark room, some fun tracks, and neon gear. If you've given this a shot, you'd know that balancing in the dark is quite challenging.
Yoga with cats
Ras Al Khaimah Animal Centre recently opened its doors to yoga-enthusiasts and their pets. How awesome does a cat or dog yoga session sound?
Exercising in water, it has been observed, reduces body weight by 80%, provides the much-required cardio burn, and strengthens muscles. Fairmont The Palm's Aquaspin classes, the Lost Chambers Aquarium's Hatha Yoga, and Dubai Aquarium's Underwater Yoga is proof that the UAE is keeping up with the concept.
Indoor fitness choices
With the intense almost year-round high temperatures, it's no wonder that 'mall walking' is here to stay. The Abu Dhabi Mall's Walkers Club meets every morning at 7 am, and the Mall of the Emirates encourages a community of walkers to stay fit together every Sunday morning at 8.30 am.
Vertical marathons are inevitable in a country full of skyscrapers - the Emirates Towers building complex, the Media 1 Tower in Dubai Media City, and Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi see residents scaling breathtaking heights every year.
Of course, indoor skiing is not just for novelty's sake, there's a ski school alpine package with private lessons and complimentary hot chocolate at the Mall of the Emirates. If it can snow in the desert, you can stay inspired to achieve seemingly impossible fitness goals.
Indoor skydiving provides 2in1 goals - stay fit and also check it off from your bucket list. Once you begin at iFLY Dubai Academy, you'll want to make your way to solo jumps from a plane as well as trying to jump with just a wingsuit.
Time to tone the muscles and burn fat - all in the comfort of air conditioning.
What's your favourite way to stay fit? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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