Out-of-the-box workouts near you Keeping fit in style

There’s a lot more you can do to keep fit in Dubai besides slogging away in gyms or going for lonely runs. Here are a few exciting methods compiled by Bandana Shah you must try:

For sassy curves

Ladies boutique fitness Curvalicious offers workouts based on your personal expectations.

On your journey to achieve the curves you desire, you’ll have one-on-one discussions with the coaches who will assess and chart out your personal workout routine.

According to a Dubai-based blogger, the workout sessions would focus on giving you an ‘upperlicious’ (upper body training), ‘bodylicious’ (full body training) and ‘bootylicious’ (leg training) physique.

Not only will the coaches decide on the specific equipment you’ll be using and the workouts you will be doing, they will also guide you with your dietary habits – offer you techniques of conscious eating. “I started training with Curvalicious six months ago hoping to lose fat and get a lean figure. My coach helped me calculate and control my intake of food, calories and water. I’m confident that I’ll achieve my desired goal soon. I can feel it happening when I try on my old clothes which are now loose,” says Nuof, a member.

Mary Delle Rodriguez Bituin of Curvalicious says, “We have members with different expectations and some simply want to maintain their bodies.” Public relations officer Afra Alketbi adds: “I’m here five days a week taking classes to work on upper body, full body and legs. I feel stronger and healthier.”

Burn 1,000 calories in 50 minutes

The ‘Black’ workout at Bare Fitness promises to help you burn a thousand calories per session. Perhaps we could call it a ‘well-equipped’ nightclub, where one moment you’ll be tripping to the music and in another, running on a treadmill or squatting. The class seeks to “create” lean bodies using customized workouts which include sculpting weight lifting, and HIIT.

Bare’s website states, “A 50-minute session of Black feels more like being at a party than a workout. Thanks to the amazing energy, the dark lighting and the flashes of bright neon that are painted onto clothing and skin wherever you look.”

Working mom Johanna Suitte calls the Black session her hour of bliss. “I’ve been participating in the sessions for two-and-half-years now and the best part about it is the spirit of community workout. Each session is so intense that one feels like they can’t go through with it, but in the end you feel gratified. You get a full body workout, the music is wild and though the routine is tough, it’s enjoyable.”

Run with a parachute on your back

If you are bored with monotonous runs in the park, try the bootcamp by Elite Aesthetics, Dubai. A usual session at a park would include a 100-metre sprint with parachute on your back, pulling and pushing cars and using ViPR tubes among other equipment.

Besides the fact that running with a parachute on your back looks cool, it acts as an external resistance that the body has to overcome. It encourages the leg muscles to contract more effectively and efficiently to increase your endurance to try and maintain your speed, despite the increasing level of drag behind you. Though the parachute does not interfere with your run at the beginning, it is when you pick up speed and it starts to catch the wind that you feel the drag.

It is the energetic vibe created by the trainers and participants that makes the sessions exciting. “Not only were the workouts challenging and effective but they were also a lot of fun,” says Joumana Saad.

Swing, dance and fly

Is your workout regime all about slaving away in the gym? Add a fun element to it with aerial hoop classes offered by Pole Fit Dubai. According to Pole Fit, aerial silks are one of the most romantic of the circus arts, where performers climb, invert, perform figures, shapes and drops with effortless grace.

Aerial hoop is a form of art performed on a circular metal apparatus which is suspended from

the ceiling. An hour-long session consists of a10-minute warm-up, followed by exercises and

ends with a relaxing cool down stretch.

With eight years of experience, professional dance performers Vlada Zhizhchenko and Michelle Qubrosi will teach you classic dance moves and sassy tricks while you also work towards a trim and toned body.

Forty-eight-year-old Emma Schlegel says, “I just completed my first package of 10 aerial classes and I’m completely addicted. At my age, I never thought I’d be able to do the things am doing and my fitness and strength is coming on in leaps and bounds. The instructors are full of encouragement and constantly pushing you to try new things, without pushing beyond your current abilities, which is great.”

Yoga with furry friends

Meditate and stretch out with kitties at Dubai’s dedicated cat café, Ailuromania Cat Café, Jumeirah. The café has cuddly 24 cats that were taken from temporary shelters, or rescued off the streets. “Each one has its own personality. Not all of them like being a part of the yoga sessions. However, once they do join it is funny to watch how they make themselves

comfortable on people’s back and bellies,” informs cafe owner Allaa.

“Yoga with cats is a double therapy. While yoga itself contributes to both physical and mental wellbeing, cats help reduce stress and anxiety. They are good for your heart as they make you happy. Imagine getting both in the same session,” she adds.

Regular member Grace Kenny says, “This is the most relaxing type of yoga with the cats playing around you.”

The café has weekly cat yoga sessions which 14 participants can join. You, however, cannot take your own cat as the moody creatures take time to adjust in a new space and might get involved in fights.

What are you waiting for? Go de-stress with the furballs. Some of the cats are even up for adoption.

Tapping universal energy

Bagua is a pure Taoist martial art that was popularized in Beijing during the end of the19th century through the teachings of Dong Hai Chuan. Its theory is based on the Chinese book of changes, the I-Ching and it seeks to access/tap into the eight different kinds of energy present in the universe through its training.

The practitioner walks in a circle and changes direction through the use of eight intricate forms. Each of the eight directional palm changes correspond and seeks to build on to each of the eight main types of universal energy.

“Bagua takes your body back to its natural state. It also massages your internal organs and helps train your internal energy. Though the practice is similar to Tai Chi, its movements are easier to learn and is more potent, says Yasser Bilgrami, who will be giving the training at Just Be Holistic Center.

The center is hosting Bagua classes with Yasser Bilgrami on Tuesday evenings from January 8 to January 29. Yasser started his journey in martial arts in the Korean system of taekwondo almost 37 years ago at the age of 10. He has travelled extensively to Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, the US and India to study under many top Masters. A black belt holder in taekwondo and Hakkoryu Jujutsu, Yasser has studied Old Frame Yang Taiji and Bagua to a high level.

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