We’re over half way through 2017 and as always the months continue to pass by quicker than the last.
When reflecting on the year so far, are you content with what you’ve achieved, or are you yet to accomplish short term goals you set back in January?
Don’t let 2017 be the year when you’re looking back complaining about not achieving certain goals or trying something new.
To help, here are three targets we’ve set to make a happier finish to 2017.
Being part of a sports club is the best way to keep fit and make friends. Spending one to two evenings a week with a team is a great method of socialising, keeping fit in a fun environment, and most importantly, taking your mind off the stressful demands of the working week.
Whether you’re in a new country or looking for a lifestyle change at home, being part of a team is one of the best ways to boost happiness and stay healthy.
Every year more and more people run marathons for either charities or to achieve a personal goal. There are many half and full marathons to choose from throughout the year, from the RAK Half Marathon to Abu Dhabi Striders and Dubai Marathon.
Take the training one step at a time and don’t be worried about setting course records, just yet! The main thing is to develop a suitable training programme and enjoy challenging your body in a healthy manner.
Don’t put it off for another year. The longer you leave it off, the less motivation you’ll have to ever do one!
We’re spoilt with the many activities to choose from in the UAE. And with busy working schedules to balance, it’s never going to be possible to try everything.
From paddle boarding near the Palm to a walk in the mountains in Ras Al Khaimah to a bungee jump at Dubai Autodrome, there are plenty of exciting activities to try within a short vicinity of your home.
Why not set a target of trying at least one new activity every month? It might be out of your comfort zone but think of how you’ll feel once you’ve accomplished your target.
Feeling positive on a daily basis isn’t always easy and there are many factors that can influence your mood.
Fuelling your body with the correct food is something that can impact how you feel and look.
If you want to feel sharper and maximise your productivity levels on a daily basis, here are five foods to include on your shopping list.
A fruit rich in antioxidants, blueberries help protect the brain from stress and balance blood sugar.
They are one of the best brain foods and an easy mid-morning snack to include in your daily food plan.
Not only are berries high in fibre but they are also pure in minerals which helps protect the immune system.
KEY BENEFITS: They increase the production of dopamine which promotes energy and motivation.
Blueberries are high in fibre and rich in minerals.
Another food type that helps improve brain cell communication, walnuts are high in Vitamin E and a powerful food due to their high amounts of fatty acids.
Swapping the work hunger for some healthy fats will promote a slow release of energy and an improved ability to retain information.
KEY BENEFITS: Walnuts have been linked to lower cholesterol and even lowering the risk of cancer, making you feel healthier and more active.
Perhaps the best commonly known superfood, fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and keeps the heart and brain healthy.
Salmon, tuna and sardines are examples of fish that are easy to cook and can be added to a salad to help make a simple nutritious meal.
Another benefit of eating fish is its quick production of collagen in the skin, leading to a reduction in wrinkles.
KEY BENEFITS: The omega-3 helps brain power, making you feel confident and alert during your daily routine.
Greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli are essential in providing a high level of iron to the body.
In addition, they help slow down memory loss and maintain a balance between immunity and inflammation to maximise your overall energy.
KEY BENEFITS: The antioxidants in greens are highly nourishing and improve brain health.
Brown rice and oats are great examples of whole grains that improve the flow of blood to the brain.
They include a high level of Vitamin E and fibre, helping the maintenance of valuable nutrients.
Eating whole grains help distribute healthy fats around the body, keeping cholesterol levels and blood sugar down.
KEY BENEFITS: Whole grains include plenty of fibre to lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol – helping to improve your overall health.
Whole Grains help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
The holidays are finally here! That means you’re quite likely reading this on your way out, mid-air or further afield. We also hope it means you achieved any beach body goals that you had previously set.
You’ve certainly earned some fun in the sun, but we wouldn’t be fitness and health experts if we didn’t remind you about that terrible feeling you get on return when you realise you’ve undone all your hard work and more.
Whether you want to maintain that figure post-summer, or just keep it tight while abroad to ensure all your Instagram snaps are topnotch, there are easy ways to keep the weight off without stepping anywhere near the hotel gym, says UAE-based personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder, Charlotte Smith.
The first and most obvious one is staying hydrated and well fuelled, even if you plan to indulge in sugary refreshment poolside, and hefty pasta dinners at the hotel buffet on evenings.
“It is common to crave some fruity, juicy thirst-quenchers while you are away in the sun – people often replace their usual water with these or fizzy drinks,” says Smith. “But try to remember that they are full of heaps of sugar at the end of the day, and do not neglect your H2O.”
Take daily advantage of those complimentary bottles of water in the room and get housekeeping to replace them, as well as always packing some extra for the road.
When it comes to food, Smith observes that people tend to go for very long periods without eating, often relying on the complimentary breakfast and later dropping in on a hotel dinner or a cheeky late-night room service call.
“This means by the time they do eat they are over-indulging,” says the British lifestyle coach. “Of course you are supposed to enjoy yourself and indulge a little on holiday, but there is a big difference between eating for fun and over-indulging. “Don’t skip breakfast and carry healthy snacks (nuts and fruit, for example) with you.”
If breakfasts are complimentary where you’re staying, you’re pretty much entitled to grab a few extra apples, bananas, granola bars, et cetera, to take with you on the tour bus. By the way, you can still grab a decent tan while laying in a kayak or on a standup paddleboard.
Forego the gym, grab a paddle, row yourself out and soak up those rays while staying cool on the water. When it comes to sightseeing, you could slip on a pair of comfortable trainers and explore on foot at a leisurely pace instead of shelling out for hectic, hustling group tours.
Charlotte likes to take a 20 to 30-minute stroll before breakfast ahead of planning her day. “I find when I am on holiday I rise early so as not to miss a thing, I want to take in every last bit of it. Before breakfast I like to get out for a small walk taking in the calmness of the place. I notice and spot things more, things that I might want to check out later in the day,” she says.
We understand that if you’re travelling with a whole troop of littles ones, this may not work for you, but it’s a lot easier lately to find more fun and unconventional tours that stay away from the air-conditioned mini-bus as well – tours via bicycles, scooters, horseback and more.
That being said, Charlotte believes “the best adventures always begin on foot (well they do if you’re me because I have zero sense of direction!)”.
CHARLOTTE’S HOLIDAY WORKOUT PLAN
In case you did pack gym gear and are looking for inspiration for a quick bodyweight training blast before breakfast, StayFit Abu Dhabi Trainer Charlotte Smith shares her in-room exercise routine…
I may be an athlete and quite often my training style will be described as crazy, but my holiday workout plan is something that is suitable for everyone and can be done anywhere with no equipment needed.
I practise what I preach and will never give a client something that I have not tested.
► From the four lists below, choose 10 total exercises, picking 2-3 from each group.
► Perform each exercise for 50 seconds, taking 10 seconds to transition to the next exercise and catch your breath.
► Do a full cycle of 10 exercises; this is one round. Complete 2–3 more rounds to get a 15-20 minute full body workout.
► If you want to push harder, compromise and use bottles of water as weights.
► When you’re done, stretch each of your main worked muscles for five minutes.
► Static Lunge
► Step-up on Box
► Jump Squat
► Glute Bridge
► Calf Raise on Step
► Chair Dip
► Overhead Press
► Lateral Raise
► Alternating Curl
► Two-arm Bent-over Row
► Leg Lift
► Reverse Crunch
► Flutter Kick
► Jumping Jack
► Mountain Climber
► High Knee
► Ski Jump
TIP: Here’s an example of how I would order the exercises once I’ve selected them. Notice I generally put a cardio exercise in between every muscle group exercise, to keep the intensity high and heart rate up.
► High Knee
► Chair Dip
► Jumping Jack
► Ski Jump
► Glute Bridge
► Mountain Climber
Charlie is a competitive bodybuilder and level 3 qualified Personal Trainer for StayFit Abu Dhabi. She offers both home and gym-based training. Using her personal experience and athletic background, combined with professional knowledge, the training is tailored to suit you. For more information contact her via [email protected], or call 026661022.