Three ways to mix up your health and fitness routine

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Don’t let 2018 be the year when you’re looking back complaining about not achieving certain goals or mixing up your fitness routine.

To help, here are three ways to mix up your training programme to make a happier finish to the year.

GROUP CLASSES

There are plenty of excellent group fitness classes daily around Dubai and Abu Dhabi – with the chance to train either before work in the morning or the evening time.

All it takes is 45 minutes for a training session to make you feel mentally and physically sharp.

It may take a while to find a class that suits you, but if you go with friends, it’ll make it easier and more enjoyable.

The benefits of committing to a group class is that you’ll get pushed harder than an average training session on your own.

If you want to be committed to a class then book into 10 classes for a set fee and that will force you to go on a daily basis.

RUN

Although we’re not blessed with long stretches of sunlight in the evening, you can run any time of the day over here.

If you’re eyeing up the Dubai Marathon in January or any event across the calendar year, you should take advantage of the weather as it slowly cools down.

Wherever you live across the UAE, there are plenty of running routes available (check out pick of the best in Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

If you want to take it a bit more seriously, then invest in a sports watch or heart rate monitor which can be linked to many free apps on your IPhone (MyFitnessPal and MapMyRun).

JOIN A SPORTS TEAM

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.

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Fitness fanatic Luke Morris demonstrates a simple full-body workout to get you in shape

Nick Watkins 26/06/2018
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Full body workout: Luke Morris

Produced using unique technology and extensive research, Melt Water is the result of years of development. The production process mimics the natural formation and melting of glaciers and involves a complex multi-stage freezing, extracting and melting process.

Melt Water is a result of freezing, extracting and melting. As ice crystals start to form during freezing, they naturally push away all impurities and admixtures. The water that doesn’t freeze, due to impurities, is removed using special technology. At the final stage of production, the final layer of ice is melted back into water giving it the unique icy taste.

Melt Water benefits

  1. One of the world’s purest forms of water.
  2. Produced using unique technology.
  3. Sold in environmentally friendly bottles, made from 20% recycled materials.
  4. Rated as highest quality by the British Retail Consortium

During exercise, it’s vital to stay hydrated and ice cool Melt Water is a favourite of fitness lover Luke Morris who has teamed up with Melt Water to talk us through four key core exercises, that’ll keep you on top of your core strength, which is vitally important.

Four full-body exercises

Dumbell snatches

Bending your legs, reach down and grab the weight and burst up powerfully, lifting the dumbbell above your head and extend your arm. Repeat this several times with the same arm before switching and repeating the movement with your other arm. This exercise helps to develop your coordination and explosiveness, and strengthens your shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and lats.

Burpee to push press, using dumbbells

With every repetition, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. After a few sets of burpees, your legs will feel heavy. The dumbbells will work your arms as you lift them above your head after the press up.

Push up to one arm row

Get yourself in the usual press up position and when you come up you should lift the dumbbells one after the other. This exercise will work your arms and core and also your back. You’ll need to be fairly stabilised in order to keep your body still. Try not to swing from side-to-side when lifting the weights.

Kettle bell swing

Take up the squat position, keeping your back straight and lift the kettle bell from the floor and swing it in front of your body, and between your legs. Kettle bell swings work everything from your core, to your shoulders, your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes and your back.

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Fitball founder Kameron Jaff combines footballing skills with endurance exercises

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On the ball: Kameron Jaff's fitball session

Fitball Factory is a workout concept providing group-training classes that combine football drills with strength and cardio interval training. These workouts are designed to improve technical aspects of your game and get you in to shape, whether your goals are football or fitness related. In the second of a series of articles founder Kameron Jaff explains how fitball benefits endurance.

The whole idea about fitball is to bring a football into the workouts to make them as engaging and as fun as possible. So rather than telling someone to run five kilometres we’re getting people exercising with a ball at their feet. In terms of the endurance work with the ball, we have a number of exercises we’ll do in a session.

Suicides

We do these both with and without the ball. It’s where you have a line of cones and you run back and forth to different ones. When you get to each cone you do a trick with the ball to challenge yourself and also to improve your footballing skills. We want to try and replicate what a game situation is actually like in the workouts, which you don’t get with just doing a long distance run, for instance. Football is a mixture of sprinting, jogging, turning and so on, not just running in a straight line.

Full body exercise


After suicides we’ll do a move that works most muscles, such as burpees. The idea with endurance exercises is to get creative with periods of high intensity, low intensity and rest, all with the ball involved as much as possible. A burpee is a whole body movement targeting big muscle groups, like the glutes, hamstrings and pectoral muscles. It works the core and acts as a cardio workout with high repetitions. We use the ball to do kick-ups between reps or something similar.

Diet

What you eat and drink has a big impact on your endurance. You don’t want to be going too heavy on the carbs, but you need the right amount before a workout. You also don’t want to be going in to exercise full of junk food, sugars and chocolate. Sweet potato and whole-grain pasta are good energy sources to have a few hours before you do exercise. Also include some protein – chicken, turkey, beans and lentils to give you what your body needs to keep high energy levels. Drinking Red Bull a few hours before a work out is also beneficial for keeping you going throughout the session. If you want to become lean, or stronger, your diet will be different to that of a footballer. Carbs, although a great source of energy, if they’re not ultilised go into your fat store, so you want to make sure if you’re eating carbs you’re working out afterwards.

You can find out more about FitBall at www.fitballfactory.me and on Instagram @fitballfactory

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