The much-talked about Dubai Fitness Challenge kicks off in earnest today (October 20) at Safa Park, with a jam-packed weekend of activities planned for those keen to get in on the action.
The challenge, which was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, a few weeks ago, is aimed at making Dubai “the most active city in the world”.
The idea is that members of the community commit to spending 30 minutes a day for 30 days exercising. With this in mind, The National will be offering a helping hand – by highlighting fun activities and offering tips and advice that will keep you motivated for the entire month.
FloatUAE at Downtown Dubai
From from 6.00pm to 7.30pm, FloatUAE will be offering participants the chance to head down to Fitness First, Al Manzil, to try out the UAE’s newest and most exciting way to workout, for free.
The classes use the ultimate individual training platform – floating studios which create a new, dynamic, but most importantly, fun way to train on water. Sessions are a HIIT workout, and incorporate all exercises that are commonly used in the gym including squats, jumps, burpess and well as fun games and team building.
Sessions are fantastic for core, strength, coordination and balance and are open to men, women and children ages 10 years and above. They will be holding 20 minute taster sessions of the class for people to try. To sign up for a spot, head to www.bookwhen.com/floatuae
Cycle For Health UAE
The event will offer more people the opportunity to gear up and enjoy a leisurely ride in Abu Dhabi this Saturday, October 28.
Organized by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and The Department of Health (previously known as Health Authority – Abu Dhabi), the free event enables visitors to borrow bikes and helmets and cycle through the iconic Zayed Sports City Stadium.
Open to everyone of all ages and abilities, from enthusiastic cyclists to novices, the 1.9 km course will take riders on a loop through the stadium and along closed-off roads. Riding lessons and coaching are available, helping those who aren’t confident on bikes improve their skills.
The venue hosts a dedicated area for beginners, as well as a children’s play area, an all-ages chill-out zone, and healthy snack options. Visitor parking is provided at Zayed Sports City Stadium, free of charge.
For more information, visit http:cycleforhealthuae.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae or follow #CycleForHealthUAE on social media.
Tip of the day from Lola Martinez
On October 6, Lola Martinez, 10, beat more than 200 UAE-based aspiring athletes to win the School’s Got Talent competition after demonstrating her abilities in dancing and martial arts. The Dubai-based Spanish athlete won Dh20,000 in the event hosted by Sun & Sand Sports that provided a platform for contestants ages 7 to 12 to express themselves and show their sporting talents.
Nicknamed “The Warrior Princess”, Lola has been competing for three years and has won world jiu-jitsu titles at competitions in Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi. As a dancer, she took part in the Short+Sweet dance competition and performed with Justin Bieber on his Purpose World Tour earlier this year in Dubai. But Lola says that the School’s Got Talent competition was the most difficult and pushed her to new limits, inspiring her to make new goals.
Lola, a student at Kent College, offers advice to other young athletes saying: “Enjoy your training; nobody else can motivate you to train. You need to be able to challenge yourself to train, so do what makes you happy. It doesn’t matter if you’re first, second or third, as long as you are training.” For those children looking to get fit, she says: “Nobody is watching but yourself. Look to yourself. You are the decider. Do what makes you happy.
Tip of the day from yoga instructor Tina Bock
There are plenty of yoga classes on offer as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, as well as in Abu Dhabi and the other emirates. From hatha, vinyasa and kundalini styles to AntiGravity yoga, classes for kids and postures meant to assist fertility, there are enough variations to keep all manner of fitness buffs happy and healthy. Nike has even launched a yoga app. Abu Dhabi-based yoga instructor Tina Bock offers tips on how to make the age-old discipline work for you in the long run.
She says: “Starting and maintaining a yoga practice, just like in any fitness regimen, takes commitment. Making yourself a schedule and sticking to it is the best way to form and welcome a healthy habit into your daily life. Invest in a teacher or trainer you trust, and who will allow you to grow physically and mentally. Find a studio or centre that allows you to feel comfortable and safe. Always listen to your body and take rest when it needs it.”
Free Bodytree pre-natal Seminar
Explore all things healthy for you and your bump. Learn about the benefits of baby massage, hypnobirthing, pediatric first aid, pre-natal partner yoga, post-natal safe return to exercise, baby signing, baby 101 workshop and reflexology.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space
Abu Dhabi Dash, Zayed Sports City
This short distance running race is the largest corporate team relay race in Abu Dhabi. It promotes corporate wellness, employee engagement and an active lifestyle for all levels of fitness.
The race route is just 1.5km per person – a total team distance of 15km. The Abu Dhabi Dash also features an activity village and main stage programme where you can join fitness classes and have fun trying different sports and activities. ADCB Bikeshare will be there with cycling competitions to promote a healthy lifestyle culture. Register your team: www.racethedash.com
Run the 884 steps of the National Stadium at Zayed Sports City at TrainZSC presented by Daman ActiveLife. The weekly vertical training sessions are a great workout that starts with a warm-up, ends with a cool-down and includes an optional fitness challenge at each quadrant focusing on arms and core. There is also be a bouncy castle for the little ones to enjoy, and free BMI screenings.
Mondays, 6pm to 9pm, free with registration, ages 12+, National Stadium, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, register at trainzsc.com
Sundays are the best days for keeping the weekend Zen going, so we think the free yoga classes at Marasi Business Bay might be just the ticket. The classes are part of Dubai Properties’ initiative to encourage an active live and promote physical and mental health, so very in-tune with this month’s challenge. Check them out on Sundays and Tuesdays for Swing Yoga, and Mondays and Wednesdays for the standard variety. To register email email@example.com
It’s still the weekend, and while there are plenty more activities to get into at Safa Park, if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous and want to have a change of scene, why not head to Adventura Nature Adventure Park. Open daily from 9.30am to 6pm at Mushrif Park, Dubai, the space offers a variety of fun circuits and obstacle courses for everyone to jump in to. You can zip line, rope climb and even attempt the 25-metre Tarzan Jump. There are plenty of circuits especially for the kids too, so it’s the perfect day for everyone, and you’re going to get way more than 30 minutes of exercise in.
Check out these activities at Safa Park:
- Come and try zones – offering more than 20 activities, you can choose from rockclimbing and table tennis to yoga and circuit training. There will also be free-to-try sports sessions, including cricket, basketball and touch rugby.
- Global Mala – between 4pm and 6pm you can participate in a yoga event, which is open to the city’s yogis and yoga enthusiasts.
- Children’s fun zone – the challenge is as much for kids as it is adults, and young ones can play bubble soccer, bounce on trampolines or tackle a Ninja Warrior course. In addition, there will be Les Mills classes for those between the ages of 2 and 12 years every 30 minutes.
- Healthy food zones – there will be a nutrition and healthy living zone where you will find a variety of clean eats to help fill the gap between exercising.
So if you’ve been looking for some motivation to get fit, Safa Park is the place to start, between 1pm and 9pm on Friday and 1pm and 7pm on Saturday.
There will be ample parking and the closest metro station is Business Bay. For more details click here.