The weather’s cooling down, so it’s time to get outside and get your sweat on.
When it comes to fitness, we do things a little differently here in the desert. The mention of summer sends us scuttling inside to the air-conditioning, but when it’s winter, we all come out to enjoy the cooler climes, and as the temperature keeps falling, you’ll see plenty of joggers, rollerbladers and people doing sport all around the capital.
But if you’re looking for an outdoor workout, where should you go? Here are our top picks for places where you can get your sweat on and make the most of the weather.
Fitness by the Shore
It’s perfect beach weather right now, so if you want a nice sea breeze to accompany your workout, then head to Fitness by the Shore, an outdoor fitness concept by Haddins Gym. With circuit style training on offer, you’ll run, lift, jump and even swim in this tough class. As a plus, you can cool off in the sea as a reward for making it to the end. AED 70. Al Bahar, Corniche. Sun-Thu 5.30pm-8.30pm, Fri from 7am, Sat from 6.30pm. Contact: 050 104 7948, facebook.com/fitnessbytheshore
You only need your body and a bit of know-how with the calisthenics classes at Sweat. Taking place on the gym’s rooftop, you’ll build muscle strength, balance and flexibility through a series of body weight exercises, TRX and resistance band movements. If you feel like freestyling it, use the equipment provided to build your own routine. AED 80. Al Seef Resort and Spa, off Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Times vary. Contact: 02 444 5543, sweatuae.com
For some strength training and powerlifting, Primal Gym is the place to go. This small gym based on Al Reem Island has several outdoor rigs, as well as dedicated pull-up bars, battle ropes and more. The gym also regularly holds its daily WOD (that’s workout of the day) class outside, which includes a mix of cardiovascular and strength training. AED 52.50. Al Amaya Tower. Sun-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri 9am-noon, Sat 3pm-10pm. Class times vary. Contact: 050 296 2157, facebook.com/primal.ae
If you prefer a more gentle – but no less tough – style of exercise, then the classes with meet-up group Raw Yoga could be for you. With sessions taking place at various locations, including parks, mangroves and beaches around the capital, novices and advanced yogis alike are welcome to perfect their asanas with classes including Ashtanga, yin and restorative sessions coupled with Tibetan singing bowls. As a plus, there are also yoga classes for children that include Mandarin language learning. AED 70. Locations and times vary. Contact: meetup.com
Channel your inner beast to tackle this boot camp with Roar Fitness. With a focus on transforming your health in a big way, this class pulls no punches with a varied and challenging fast-paced HIIT and circuit routine that keeps you moving. If you’re a newbie to fitness, don’t be scared – it’s all about taking things at your own pace. AED 60. Next to Mediclinic Airport Road, Saif Ghubash Street. Times vary. Contact: 050 882 7618, fitnessinabudhabi.com/roar-fitness
If the world is your gym, then trying a session of parkour could be right up your street. The sport involves a bit of running, jumping and climbing, using whatever you find around you – and that includes, benches, buildings and walls – to navigate from A to B. Be prepared to move, laugh and fall a lot at this active class based out of Manarat Al Saadiyat, where you’ll learn the basics of the sport, plus develop your coordination and balance skills. AED 130. Saadiyat Island. Sun and Tue 4.30pm-6.30pm for children, 7.30pm-8.30pm for adults. Contact: 02 657 5800, manaratalsaadiyat.ae