Fashion trends, the kind of food to eat, staying fit, and fun indoor activities for bored children and parents – Andrea Anastasiou asks the experts for tips on how to stay cool and entertained right through the hot months
What to wear
Stepping outside now simulates the feeling of stepping into a preheated oven – so what should we wear?
Ingrid D’Lima, the founder of the image coaching and personal styling company Simply Be!, says the summer months are perfect for reinventing yourself – so instead of clocking up the hours watching one too many DVD box sets, why not head to the mall to do a bit of shopping? “Let go of your conventional style and have some fun with colour and by mixing up this season’s trends,” suggests D’Lima.
For the ladies, D’Lima says that there’s a lot of fun to be had with colour this season – so black is out.
“If ladylike pastels are not your thing, go for bright colours, like lime, orange and sunshine yellow. If wearing these bright colours really scares you, add them to your accessories. Shoes, bags and jewellery this season all offer something bright and fun to choose from.”
For the gentlemen, D’Lima suggests looking “hot and trendy” by adding colour and accessorising. “The hat is a cool accessory to have this summer – it adds oomph to your look,” she says. “Show some ankle – wear your trainers without socks. Or go for suede shoes in your favourite colour – choose from shades ranging from cobalt blue to mustard.”
Eat and drink wisely
Myrna Gharib, a clinical dietician at the Khalifa City A branch of Cosmesurge in Abu Dhabi, says that while a mouthwatering summer indulgence often means a Frappuccino from Starbucks or an icy lemonade, the chances are that you could be raking in anywhere between 300 to 500 calories from these treats.
“Why not have a large slice of juicy red watermelon or an iced tea – with no added sugar – instead?” she asks. Gharib says it is a good idea to go natural while focusing on foods that will hydrate and provide you with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
A tip for eating your meals is to look at your plate and evaluate. “If one fourth is a starch, another fourth is grilled meat, and half is fruit and vegetables, then you’re on the right track,” says Gharib. She also says you should ensure that you get your daily recommended intake of water – depending on your age, this can be anything from 1.5 to three litres of water.
Keep the kids entertained
If you and the children are here for the summer, don’t despair (just yet). Kellie Whitehead, the founder of mamaevents and www.mamaknowsdubai.com, says that there are plenty of play dates and mum-and--toddler activities happening throughout the summer that you can sign up for: log on to online expat communities to find out what’s on.
“Your queries will be answered by several other ‘melting mamas’ – from what’s open throughout Ramadan to toy and DVD swaps – if you don’t ask, you don’t get,” she says.
If the summer sends you as crazy as the kids, Whitehead says you should embrace your inner child and join in. “Who can resist building a couch fort, organising breakdancing sessions or impromptu karaoke?” she says. “And how could you forget how much you enjoy watching those movie classics over and over again? Why not? You’ve got nowhere to go.”
Keeping fit in the summer can be a challenge, especially if your usual regimen involves a lot of jogging and outdoor sports.
Resent having to fork out to pay for a gym? No need to. Lexy Bate, a Dubai-based personal trainer, says that there are plenty of activities that don’t require gym memberships. One example is to take the stairs wherever you go.
“Most people in the UAE live or work in high-rise buildings,” says Bate. “Put on your iPod, stop taking the lift and walk up the stairs at least three times a week.”
Bate also recommends 15 minutes of swimming for those who have access to chilled pools. Also, why not buy yourself a jumping rope – 40 seconds of jumping with 20 seconds of rest for 10 minutes every day will help improve cardiovascular fitness, induce fat loss and tone your muscles, explains Bate.
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