As we begin the transition from spring to summer, we’re shedding layers of clothing for summer attire, spending more time around the pool, and planning vacations.
With that being said, we’re also paying more attention to building our summer bodies and getting re-energised about looking and feeling our best.
Let these popular transformational programmes offered in Dubai and Abu Dhabi help you on your journey:
HADDINS RAMADAN PRIMAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME
WHEN: May 28–June 22
Over in the capital there’s the ever-popular Haddins Primal Programme that has, over the years, reaped some impressive and drastic results.
This programme will not only change your physical form, but also your desire to make training an everyday part of your life, with fun, result-based exercise.
You will also follow a Primal/Paleo nutrition plan with the full support and guidance of Haddins’ qualified coaches and nutritionists.
What’s also good is that it’s run both early in the morning and in the evenings at two convenient locations (Zayed Sports City and Emirates Palace) for you to choose from.
Starting from Dh1200 if paid before May 28. For more info, email [email protected].
RAMADAN DETOX CHALLENGE WITH SASHA QUINCE
WHEN: Sundays from May 28-June 18
This is another highly beneficial programme in Abu Dhabi that you could possibly even tack on to Haddins’ Primal Programme – it’s only run once a week.
Come and learn cleansing breathing, detox methods, restorative postures and active techniques to flush out toxins and restore vitality to your body and mind. Sasha’s four-week programme is guaranteed to help you improve your sleep, metabolism and digestion, as well as reduce stress and gain strength and flexibility.
Priced at Dh270, it comes highly recommended as a supplement to your regular fitness routine this Ramadan. Visit www.sashaquinceyoga.com
L’ATELIER AQUAFITNESS’S BODY TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME
WHEN: Available throughout May
We like this one because it involves time in the water and will keep you cool during the scorching months ahead. On top of that, L’Atelier is a brilliant ladies-only facility in Dubai offering some advanced and cutting-edge classes and alternative treatments. This concentrated five-week overhaul combines all of their services into one exciting package, designed to tone, shape, strengthen, relax and re-connect you with yourself. You will also benefit from a personal follow-up on your progress and an assessment with qualified coaches.
Sessions include aquabiking, plenty of time spent in the Iyashi Dome (a Japanese slimming and detoxifying technology inspired by local hot springs), a deep muscle relaxation session called Watsu (also known as Aquatic Shiatsu), as well as a food assessment plan and healthy drinks and snacks.
It will all set you back Dh4200, but this can be payable in two parts. Visit www.latelieraquafitness.com
TRANSFORM WITH DEFINE
WHEN: Available throughout May
This super hip Dubai studio promises to sculpt a new you in 10 classes or less.
What we love about these guys is the spunk and spirit you regularly get out of their carefully curated indoor biking, barre and swing yoga classes. They’ve got something to offer the moodiest of fitness junkies, a mixture of energy-spiking and chill-inducing classes.
Take advantage of improved strength, length and balance for summer by signing up for their incredibly affordable two-week unlimited Absolute Best package going for Dh500, or the one-month unlimited package priced at Dh950. Visit www.dubai.definebody.com
3-MONTH GUAVAPASS SPECIAL
WHEN: Offer ends May 31
What better way to stay in shape and motivated through the Holy Month and beyond than having your fill of all the cool classes Dubai and Abu Dhabi have to offer? Yep, GuavaPass has got you. This city-wide app is an exclusive pass to a weird and wonderful programme of diverse group fitness classes offered at various gyms for a small monthly fee. One day you’ll find yourself in a yoga or Pilates class, the next day doing Aqua Zumba or strapping into some Kangoo boots for non-stop laughs in a rebound exercise class. That’s our favourite thing about this membership – the flexibility to explore fitness whenever and however you want with the click of a button.
They’ve got a special deal on right now allowing you access to a 3-month membership for just Dh325 a month (as opposed to Dh499), or Dh425 for your first month. Visit www.guavapass.com
People often draw up inflated hyperboles to express their intense dislike for the early morning hours; unfortunately I am part of this very lot that is guilty of making such overstatements.
I remember attributing Tai Chi in helping me transform in to a morning person, but I say, not
being a thorny tempered, bleary-eyed zombie is one thing and charging into fitness activities early in the morning is another.
In all honesty, I always thought that nothing in this world could change my sentiments about early morning workouts.
So when I got to know about Roxy Fitness event, in my excitement and eagerness to accept the invitation it completely slipped my notice that it was scheduled to start at 06:45.
As much as I was groggy and bitter for hauling myself out of the snug cocoon of my blankets, never have I ever been happier for passing up on extra sleep.
We started off with a beachside yoga with Kathleen Swalling, who guided us through the sun salutations to warm us up for the paddle boarding session with Krissy later on. After an extremely relaxing yoga session by the beach, the entire group was just bursting with energy.
The ladies were divided into two groups; one that had seasoned paddle boarders and the others who were trying it out for the first time.
I on the other hand got to be the lone member of a very special group that had neither paddle boarded nor knew how to swim.
So while the advanced group did burpees on a paddle board and the other group focused on perfecting their balance and steering, I was all by myself with Kathleen learning how to survive in the ocean and paddle boarding from scratch.
However, under the vigilante eye and firm instructions of Kathleen, a fantastic yoga instructor and a tri-athlete, I tried getting the basics of paddle boarding down without knowing how to swim.
She was a constant source of comfort and confidence throughout the whole experience, and eventually I was able to stand on the paddle board and steer my way around.
She even coaxed me in to getting off the paddle board and diving right in to the water, to help ease my fear. As a precaution, I was instructed to stay as close to the shallow side of the beach as possible, but even then I was required to at least try to stand on the board and steer it around.
Kathleen pointed out that the sport requires the same techniques used in yoga that help maintain our balance and the key to becoming good at it was just to remain calm and breathe.
“You just need to breathe and stay calm, so the breathing exercises that you were doing in Yoga applies perfectly here in paddle boarding,” said Kathleen, as she guided me in to the water.
“Tuck your navel closer to the small of your back and keep the knees slightly bent at all times to help stay stable on the board,” she advised.
She also mentioned that it is important to always keep your eyes looking in front rather than down at the water.
Paddle boarding is a great upper body workout and is a real test of strength.
As a fitness education company that certifies people to become trainers, we are always teaching our students that our number one goal with our clients should be behavioural change.
We know that small behaviour changes and habits can have a huge impact over time. Most clients come wanting to lose body fat, so we explore what is the smallest change to someone’s habits that can be a big help in this regard.
There is a study that came out recently on the effect plain water consumption has on the amount of calories we consume. The outcome was very interesting. Here’s how the study went.
They looked at plain water consumption compared to how much people were eating. What they found was that for every one per cent increase in water consumption, there was a nine calorie decrease in the amount people were eating.
What that basically equates to, is drinking one extra cup of water – roughly 250 millilitres per day – would equate to around 60 calorie decrease in energy consumption.
Simply put, you end up eating less food. The next part of the study looked at whether participants continue to eat less if they keep drinking more water.
And there was an actual linear progression; if they drink eight ounces versus 16, versus 32, they eat less and less food over a period of time.
What they found in the study was that if you take someone who was drinking a specific amount of fluid per day, and get them to add roughly two cups, that would equate to roughly 150 fewer calories consumed per day.
If you added in another eight ounces that would mean up to 250 calories less per day. That means you’re going to end up eating somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 calories less per week.
Now, if you know anything about diets, that’s kind of a cool deal because over time that can equate to significant weight loss, by simply having some more water.
In a way, drinking two or three additional cups of water a day is equivalent to a 30-minute brisk walk. Adding something as simple as water to a weight loss programme is easy. All you have to do is get your bottle of water and put it where you can see it.
That visual reminder throughout the day to have some more water can have huge benefits over a period of months and years.
What you’ll find is not only will you feel better and start losing weight, in a couple months you will have a new healthy habit that complements everything you’re trying to achieve.
Heba Abdel Gawad is a Neural Performance Specialist, Z-Health Master Trainer, the Creator of the NeuroPilates method, Personal Trainer and Instructor Trainer. She is the co-founder of body//HACK