Free fitness classes help residents make strides to a healthier life

The annual Get Driver Fit series recently kicked off with hundreds of residents signing up for seven weeks of free fitness classes.

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Hosted in the lead-up to the hotly anticipated Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of November, the fitness campaign aims to get people active and instil healthier habits for life. Here we speak to Phil Smith, head trainer at Haddins Fitness, which will run most of the series’ classes, about how the programme has developed over the years and

How much has Get Driver Fit grown since it kicked off in 2013?
We have seen an increase in class types, frequency and locations across Abu Dhabi. Most importantly, we have experienced a surge in participant numbers – getting more people across the capital active – which is what the program is really about. We strive to continually improve the program and in 2017, participants will receive even more support, with bi-weekly educational seminars and free body scans, which will allow them to accurately measure their progress throughout their seven-week fitness journey.

What’s the key to making a program like this successful?
Well firstly, it is free which makes it accessible to anyone. Secondly, the Get Driver Fit programme offers a variety of classes to cater to all fitness levels and exercise preferences. Over the years, Get Driver Fit has built a strong and supportive community, which inspires participants to return year-on-year. We have seen some great examples of people who have met during group Get Driver Fit classes and continued to exercise together once the annual programme concludes. It’s this kind of community spirit that adds an extra element to the overall program.

What have been the most popular classes in previous years?
We receive a strong response and attendance rates for all of our classes, which is reflected in our schedule again this year. One of the reasons that Get Driver Fit is so enticing is the variety of classes and locations. Participants can start their day with a tough beach workout and a cool off in the water afterwards and then attend an evening yoga class that same day if they wish. Honestly, we would recommend trying as many as you can to find the one that suits you and your lifestyle.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit classes have always been popular. We had classes last year with over 100 participants. The classes are designed in a way to accommodate large numbers of participants yet ensuring the quality and delivery of the classes is still great and enjoyable for everyone.

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What advice or motivation would you give people who wish to continue their fitness journey after the series has finished?
A vital element of exercise and healthy living is ensuring that it is incorporated into your everyday life. It doesn’t need to be a huge achievement like running 10km daily; however, setting aside time to move your body and clear your mind will go a long way in your overall wellbeing. As a part of the seven-week fitness journey, we inspire participants to take their learnings and new fitness knowledge and use that to continue with a healthy lifestyle well after the programme has finished. The most important part is to ensure fitness is an enjoyable part of your life.

Have you witnessed any significant fitness or health improvements as a part of the programme in previous years?
We have seen some fantastic health transformations throughout the program. It is inspiring to be a part of a significant change in someone’s life such as this, and certainly a contributing factor to the importance of what we are doing here.

The final day for registration is 20th September at Yas Marina Circuit (ladies only). If you’ve missed your chance to register, you can still drop in to classes to enjoy a free workout. Participants must be 16 years or over. To find out more and see the schedule, click here.

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