GymNation in Dubai gives first glimpse to the public and signs deal with Kcal

Dan Owen 15/05/2018
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GymNation will have more than 500 pieces of top-level equipment

One of Dubai’s newest fitness experiences has opened its doors to the public for the first time.

GymNation on Sheikh Zayed Road held an open day at the weekend giving members, and the rest of the public, a first glipse at their state-of-the art facility.

The highly anticipated full opening will take place later this month.

The gym originally hit the headlines when they offered memberships at just Dh99 – this was just an introductory offer for a set number of people, but even now the price point is around Dh179 per month.

Questions were initially raised whether a budget price would equate to budget quality equipment, but all those fears have been laid to rest.

The facility in Al Quoz, is a 45,000 square-foot floor space, equipped with over 500 pieces of latest generation equipment by Matrix and offers over 200 Les Mills fitness classes, all accessible as part of the monthly membership.

Add to this a high-tech spinning studio, dedicated combat sports area, and huge studio space and the variety of attributes the facility has is clear – you can even take part in classes when there are no instructors there – through virtual technology.

The facility has areas for all types of  gym-goer

The facility has areas for all types of gym-goer

The gym is equipped to cater for all fitness needs – with huge interest shown from first-time gym users right the way thought to top level athletes from a range of sports.

Female gym goers are extremely well catered for also, with a special women’s only area that is directly connected to reception and changing area for maximum privacy.

The company has also announced a partnership with Kcal for their on-site nutrition offering.

Fuel Up by Kcal, a concept dedicated to promoting wellness through good healthy food, is now the official nutrition partner of GymNation. The concept is all about taking charge of your health and wellness, without compromising on choice, ease, speed, and convenience – an ethos that fits with GymNation’s ‘fitness for everyone’ ideology.

With Fuel Up by Kcal on board, GymNation say their offering becomes even more comprehensive.

Frank Afeaki and Loren Holland, Founders  of GymNation

Frank Afeaki and Loren Holland, Founders
of GymNation

“Health and fitness is a blend of exercise, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. As part of our holistic offering to our members, GymNation is pleased and proud to partner with UAE’s favorite health food company,” said GymNation Founder Loren Holland.

“We are delighted to have opened a world-class fitness facility which offers gym memberships at an affordable and flexible rate to the people of Dubai. Our partnership with Fuel Up by Kcal further enhances our offering to GymNation members allowing them to access the best nutritional advice, services and healthy food offering across the UAE,” he added.

“We are excited about our new partnership with GymNation which will bridge the gap between food and fitness, giving us the opportunity to provide our clients with access to personalised nutrition and physical wellbeing,” said Mark Carroll, Founder & Co-CEO of Kcal.

GymNation is due to open in May following the launch event last week; for more information or to claim your membership, for more information visit: gymnation.ae

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Sjha'ra Taylor spreads the joy of Chocolate Yoga

Hiba Khan 14/05/2018
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Sjha’ra Taylor is an avid practitioner of Kundalini yoga, who has studies and apprenticed under notable yogis, priests, and shamans from all around the world.

She has dabbled in many different styles before settling for Kundalini yoga and went on to create her own style by combining it with one of the most universally loved things, chocolate.

During one of her trips to Guatemala, Sjha’ra was taught how to conduct ancient Mayan cacao ceremonies by a chocolate shaman and was inspired to combine it with Kundalini yoga at his behest.

Watch as she recounts her completely accidental discovery of Chocolate Yoga and it’s wonderful benefits that she wishes to share with the rest of the world.


For more information on chocolate yoga and Sjha’ra Taylor’s workshops, click here.










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The importance of all year-round nutrition - especially during Ramadan

Dan Owen 10/05/2018
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Red Bull's Shaikha Al Qassemi

As part of my passionate endeavor to educate the public about better ways to embrace a fitter, healthier and balanced lifestyle, I have come up with a series of articles to share with you to take you one step closer to living better.

As we approach the month of Ramadan, my last article for this series will be to ensure that the month of Ramadan you are energized, well rested and hydrated!

As we all know, during the month of Ramadan, all the temptations rise to surface with family and friends gathered around mountains of delectable savory and sweet snacks. We forget to hydrate ourselves because we are too tired and the only thing that would help us function is either tea or coffee. We spend most of our hours sleeping or sitting and don’t move enough,  so here’s a few things that you can do differently during this holy month.

  1. Hydration: It is vital that you continue to hydrate yourself from when you break your fast until sunrise. Hydration prevents intoxication, muscle cramps, muscle fatigue and stimulates metabolism of proteins and carbs. We are limited with time to get enough water in so I suggest to fill your meals with water based fruits and vegetables as well. Coconut water is a great way to hydrate as well, drink at least 1.5-2 litres of water a day as well as some coconut water or added electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that are very important for human health, some of those minerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium and potassium. Electrolytes are responsible for directing water and nutrients to the body where it’s needed to make sure fluids are balanced in the cells.
  1. Ditch the sugars for nuts: Whether you are on a low carb or high carb diet, I would like you to look into increasing your fats during this month. Fats will help you stay focused, energized and will suppress your hunger for longer. I know how hard it is to resist those Nutella filled cupcakes and lotus dipped EVERYTHING. But try to limit your sugar intake as much as possible and substitute sugars for healthy fats and carbs like a handful of nuts.
  2. Food and exercise: Why I put the two in one point is very important. We have done it every year “I’ll have a light meal then go work out” then our stomach monsters take over and consume 2 plates at iftar. Food: I urge you this year to try to control your portions at iftar because your stomach has been empty for more than 15 hours. A lighter meal will prepare your stomach for easier digestion throughout the night. Make sure you focus on well balanced meals, a good amount of protein, carbs and a little more fat than you’re used to. Your fats will come from sources of fatty protein like salmon or red meat or from salad dressings, avocado and nuts. Every Ramadan I break my fast with oatmeal with either fish or chicken as my protein source. Oats help me stay full a litter longer and is a great source of energy before my sessions as well as a can of RedBull. I usually have a can post iftar to help with energy levels and also digestion. RedBull contains B vitamins that aid towards better digestion. Exercise: If you do exercise while fasting, make sure that you are not pushing yourselves too hard during workouts, to avoid nausea, dizziness and dehydration, be mindful of your training while fasting.
  1. Sleep: The month of hibernation! We sleep more during Ramadan than the rest of the year don’t we? This year my plan is to divide my sleep into chunks of hours to make sure I get in 8-9 hours of sleep in total but not at one go. Now this will help me get enough water and food throughout the night if I do get 2-3 hours of sleep in the evening and 6-7 hours from suhoor to early afternoon. That way I get to have a better sleeping cycle than putting myself through a complete life change in one month and spend the following month trying to reverse it.

At the end of the day, this all depends on your personal preference and what you find accommodates your lifestyle. Find what works for you and get it going!

That’s it from me, I hope you have a mindful beautiful month of Ramadan!

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