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Unless you have a personal trainer to tell you what to do at the gym (or you are a personal trainer) you probably get bored there. But you don’t have to. The gym is not the only place or way to get fit. Below are eight alternatives where you can actually have fun while getting in shape.
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\nNo, ice skating is not just for the ladies. You would be surprised by the daring moves that male ice skaters can pull off. The sport is a great alternative to the gym because it is anything but boring – in fact, it is extremely dangerous and perfect for adrenaline junkies – and results in a great figure since it works all the muscles in your body. We love the ice rink in Al Nasr Leisureland or The Dubai Mall, although the latter can get very crowded. Both places have professional instructors who offer lessons. Prices start at AED 75 for Al Nasr and AED 110 for The Dubai Mall.
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\nIf ice skating is too feminine for you, you can opt for Hockey with the Dubai Ice Hockey League, an amateur organisation run by the Dubai Mighty Camels Sports Club. It is for players of all skill levels so anyone can register to be part of the team. They practice the sport at Al Nasr Leisureland and their prices cost AED 2,100 on an annual basis.
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\nThis sport might be laughed at by many, but they won’t be laughing if they actually tried it – your muscles will be extremely sore the next day. Bounce Middle East is a great place to practice free-jumping. It is an indoor “playground” filled with wall to wall trampolines with a free jumping arena, dodgeball court, performance area, and basketball hoops. The first session costs AED 80 and includes bounce grip socks which must be worn at every session. The sessions that follow cost AED 70. Bounce is located in Al Quoz.
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\nYou can either do this outdoors or in conventional boxing gyms like our favourite one in Dubai Fit Boys Gym. It is a traditional, no nonsense boxing gym that teaches everyone from beginners to advanced athletes. So why would you take on boxing as a sport? Some people might argue that it is violent and unnecessary, but it can actually be extremely soothing. How so? You let out all your stress and anger and can go home feeling refreshed and stress-free. Fit Boys is located in the Red Diamond Building in Jumeirah Lake Towers. Prices start at AED 60 per class.
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\nIf you’re a tough cookie, we highly recommend Ignite Wellness’s Military Bootcamps. They’re high intensity military-style outdoor training programs that are fit for all levels and ages. They’re pretty cool to try out because Ignite has a very friendly approach so the team members motivate each other but it is still tough and you still have to finish every exercise without excuses so you end up seeing massive changes in your body shape. The boot camps take place in different locations so you do have to get in touch with the fitness firm for details.
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\nIf you can’t get Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing skills out of your mind, you should definitely try out salsa classes. We like Dance for you studio because it has professional international dance instructors that offer private and group dance classes for all levels from beginners to advanced dancers. It is located in TECOM, Grosvenor Business Tower and even has a dance fitness programs. Contact the studio for information on prices.
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Paddle boarding or swimming
\nStand-up paddleboarding is one of the best outdoor workouts for Dubai because you can do it at almost any time – in other words, you can do it in summer when it is 40 degrees Celsius outside. The activity is known for strengthening your core as it teaches you to balance yourself from there. It’s also a great workout for your arms and shoulders. Another plus is that you get a tan while getting fit! You can rent a surfboard at The Surf House in Jumeirah Beach Road. Prices start at AED 75 for an hour. After you’re done, you can go swimming – an often overlooked and underrated sport which is great for your back if you work in an office and are always sitting down!
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\nWe’re using the word biking instead of cycling to make it sound more fun. Cycling reminds us of classes at the gym and we’re trying to get away from that. The Dubai Roadsters, a local cycling community that organises rides at the Nad Al Sheba cycling track, is a great alternative to cycling gym classes because they meet in a beautiful dessert setting and are a great social group too. They have relaxed rides for beginners and advanced ones for regular cyclers. You can check out their website for more information.