A look at the latest UAE happenings to keep you active and healthy over the next month.
UAE fitness news and events for April: Electric Run Sharjah, iTrain Saturdays, and more
Electric Run Sharjah
Take part in the “World’s Brightest 5K Night Run”. The celebration features music, light and themed wonderlands along the 5-kilometre course, including the light show at Electric Avenue, Neffmau5 Land with multicoloured lanterns and UV lights, lit umbrellas hovering in the Electro Rainforest, plus the glow-in-the-dark Teddy Bear Lane with giant cupcake-like inflatables. Stay for the post-race party with DJs spinning tunes in the main festival area. Dh215, Al Majaz Waterfront from Corniche Street to the Al Majaz Amphitheatre, Sharjah, www.electricrun.ae
This free initiative organised by Daman Activelife and Gulf Multi Sport encourages the community to stay healthy by participating in fitness activities together, including 1km, 2.5km and 5km races. Win prizes just by predicting how long it will take to complete the course walking, jogging or running. Have your BMI measured and monitor your blood-glucose status. Starts at 8.30am, free, Yas Gateway Park North, Abu Dhabi, register at www.premieronline.com
Big Bubble Run
Take part in the UAE’s first foam race, where you can walk, jog, or run through the 5km course filled with loads of non-toxic, non-slippery bubbles. Plus enjoy the entertainment at Bubble Base, including face-painting, bubble-making and a bubble show. From 7am to 11am, from Dh185, Dubai Autodrome, Dubai, www.bigbubblerun.com
Take part in an adventure race around Dubai, where teams of two will navigate 10 surprise challenges that could include speaking another language, cooking, playing games, dancing and other activities that test your speed, logic, accuracy, fitness, perseverance and teamwork. From 7.30am to 1pm, from Dh350, Dubai, 050 552 3804, www.rushawayuae.com
Splash @ Yas Marina
Experience watersports in this annual water-themed event featuring a range of offshore and onshore activities, including doughnut rides, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding and wakeskating. Noon to 6pm, various prices, Yas Marina, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 02 406 2000, www.yasmarina.ae
Ensuring Our Youth Live Life Fully
Learn more about the effects that stress and depression have on teenagers and how their long-term mental well-being can be affected. This seminar focuses on mental health, conditions and diagnoses, behaviours associated with mental health difficulties and the effects it has on young people, their peers and parents. Plus learn about screening tools, interventions and psychiatry. From 9.30am to 3.30pm, from Dh750 early-bird price until March 31; then Dh900, Media Rotana hotel, Tecom, Dubai, 04 277 8094, www.ebdaah.com/mental_health_well_being
Talise Fitness Sandstorm
Test your fitness in a series of fun and challenging obstacles across a 4km sprint course – involving land, sand and sea – designed for teams of three to climb, crawl, run and jump. Open to all fitness and fun enthusiasts. From 6.30 to 10am, from Dh600 for a team of three, Talise Fitness, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, register by April 28 at www.talisefitness.com
Flip Out packs in fitness and fun
One of the Middle East’s biggest trampoline parks opens in Al Quoz, Dubai, on Saturday, March 26. Flip Out will have more than 200 interconnected trampolines and 10 trampoline-based attractions.
Sameer Ali, director of Flip Out Middle East and North Africa, says the facility will cater to children, teenagers, young adults and their parents. “It’s a place where, no matter what your age, you can have a great time,” he says.
“If you want to stay healthy and fit, but don’t like the gym, jumping on a trampoline has tremendous health benefits. We’ll also be offering yoga, Pilates and aerobics classes along with rebounding, which is a specific fitness for trampolines.
“Flip Out Dubai will also have two themed archery tag fields. Combining the elements of dodgeball and paintball, archery tag players use foam-tipped arrows to hit their opponents. We are also looking to launch Dubai’s first archery tag tournament.”
Trampolining sessions are an hour long and cost Dh70 for adults and Dh60 for children, which includes instruction.
Earlier to bed, the better you sleep
If ever you needed a reason to go to bed early, here it is. A study by fitness tracker company Jawbone has found that people who go to bed late tend to consume more calories the following day, while people who go to bed earlier and around the same time each night, eat healthier foods.
The company studied data from hundreds of thousands of Jawbone Up users around the world, tracking the times they went to bed, and the food and calories they consumed the following day.
Early bedtimes were considered to be between 7pm and 11pm, while late bedtimes were 11pm to 3am.
The researchers found that normal-weight Up users who went to bed at 9.30pm logged 220 fewer calories the following day than those who went to bed at 2.30am. They also tended to eat more fruit and vegetables, high-fibre carbohydrates, lean proteins and heart-healthy fats. Those with a later bedtime, consumed more caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, processed carbohydrates, processed meats and saturated fats.
The survey backs up scientific evidence that poor sleep can disrupt the release of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety.
While there are many things that contribute to weight loss or gain, such as activity levels, nutrition, age and underlying medical conditions, the study helps to demonstrate the importance of sleep.
Start on the right foot
The National’s second annual #Startwalking Challenge is on and to get you on track to achieving at least 10,000 steps a day, we’ve got some tips from the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre.
Time: Break down your walking into manageable chunks throughout the day. For example, instead of going for a 30-minute walk every morning, try breaking it into three sessions of 10 minutes.
Plan ahead: Make walking and physical activity a regular part of your day. That way, you have planned for everything you need, including time.
Social influence: Get your friends, family and colleagues to join you in your fitness quests.
Stop making excuses: You may be tired, but being physically active will help increase your energy levels. If possible, try to schedule your activity for times of the day when you feel most energetic.
Weather the weather: Don’t let the weather hamper your fitness plans. Choose activities or alternatives that aren’t susceptible to the elements. This may include walking in the mall, stair climbing or exercises at home.