Top 5 fitness apps
1. Nike Training Club
A pocket personal trainer that teaches you workouts tailored to your specific goals. It shows you how to do each exercise with photos and a description plus video demonstrations with voiceover. With all this info, we are amazed this app is still free.
2. Calorie Counter by MyFitnessPal
This is the easiest way for us to keep track of what we're munching all day, and with such an extensive library of food we're never unsure about the nutritional content of anything we eat.
3. Studio DarIen Pilates by Darien Gold
Filled with great routines by the Pilates pro. Includes videos and exercises for a range of levels.
4. Meal Planning by Food On The Table
Pick a few easy recipes to last you a couple of days and the app adds the ingredients to your grocery list.
5. Period Tracker Lite
A free app that allows you to track your cycle, record any symptoms (such as acne and bodyaches) and follow your mood throughout the month.
A stretch in time
If, like us, you find the selection of workout clothing in the UAE is limited to unflattering baggy trousers and boring racerback tops, there's a solution: Lululemon. Its clothing is not only pleasing on the eye, but also built to lift, tuck and cover all your lumps and bumps. Take its "Wunder Under Pant" - it lifts your bum, tucks in those love handles, hides any signs of cellulite and doesn't budge, even when you get yourself into awkward yoga positions. The seams are designed to avoid chafing and there's also a hidden pocket to store your gym card and cash if you don't want to lug a bag with you. All in all, the best investment we've made since we paid for our health club membership.
Approximately Dh287, shop.lululemon.com
It's accepted among us gym-goers that sore, aching muscles can be relieved with a warm bath, a good dollop of muscle-relaxing gel and a hot water bottle. Nothing quite beats completing a good workout, then curling up on the sofa with a soothing compress to ease tired limbs. We feel comforted just looking at this festive hot water bottle with its soft and snuggly cover. Bedtime can't come soon enough.
Dh88, available at Harvest Home, The Jumeirah Centre, 04 342 0225
Get your board on
Paddle boarding. It's not usually your first thought on a sleepy Sunday morning but as Abu Dhabi's Corniche is gearing up to host the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 fleet this new year, why not get involved in some sporting activities yourself? Californian Laird Hamilton has made his name for his daring feats on a surfboard. He is also known as one of the top paddle boarders and has designed a new hi-tech, stand-up version to mark his partnership with Read's Volvo Ocean Race challenge. Now you can try a stand-up paddle board at a free, daily Puma Paddle boarding school on the Corniche throughout the Volvo Ocean Race. Timings are from 11am-5pm and children of all ages are welcome if accompanied by an adult. Classes last for an hour and there will be instructors on hand to get you up on your board in no time.
Puma Paddle school from January 1-14 at the Race Village beach (opposite Marina Mall), Abu Dhabi Corniche
If you want to get fit or stay fit this holiday season, check out the female-only classes offered by Inspire Sports Management, a non-profit organisation based in Abu Dhabi that aims to empower women through health and fitness. Led by certified professionals, classes start at just Dh45 and take place at Al Bateen Secondary School and the Hilton Abu Dhabi hotel. There are packages for children and adults so finding the right class is easy and convenient. Check out Zumba, Body Pump, Aqua Aerobics and more and get fit this winter.
Inspire Sports Management, class schedule and pricing available at www.inspiresports.ae
As much as we love walking into the yoga studio and grabbing a mat like every other average Jane, there's something more exciting about bringing our own, especially when it's custom-made to our liking. Yogamatic is our go-to for limited edition mats (such as this version) as well as more personal ones where you can upload any photo onto the website and have it printed onto your yoga mat. We're not too keen on staring at a photo of our dog while doing a downward dog, but this motivational poster from 1939 is all the push we need to get us to the studio.
Approximately Dh327, www.yogamatic.com
Gym playlist: the songs that keep us going
1. Bloc Party - She's Hearing Voices
2. The Prodigy - Warrior's Dance
3. Little Dragon - Shuffle a Dream
4. Azealia Banks featuring Lazy Jay - 212
5. M.I.A. - Boyz
6. Teddybears featuring Mad Cobra - Cobrastyle
7. The Black Keys - Howlin' For You
8. Dick Dale and His Del Tones - Misirlou
9. Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy
10. Tomoyasu Hotei - Battle without Honor or Humanity