There's no excuse for not keeping in shape this summer
Time Out staff
For most of us fitness fans, it’s far too hot to step outside for our regular exercise sessions so we take a look at what will get our hearts pumping indoors instead.
Yoga Most of us are fully aware of what yoga is and how it benefits us but many of us haven’t taken the plunge and tried it out yet. The history of the spiritual practice of yoga dates back thousands of years to the pre-Vedic Indian era (although its origins are still debated) and its health benefits are wide-ranging but it’s mostly become popular as practising aligns both mind and body. There are many forms of yoga, for example, Ashtanga Yoga, which synchronises breathing with a progressive series of postures. Or there’s Hatha Yoga which focuses on physical and mental strength building exercises.
Now is the perfect time to head indoors to have a go so for classes in Bahrain, try dedicated yoga, meditation and reiki studio Namaste which also happens to be the first company in Bahrain able to officially train yoga teachers. From BD8 per class. 3rd floor, ‘Tariq Pastries’ building, Budaiya Highway (3885 5999).
Pilates Pilates was originally known as ‘Contrology’, as it’s a form of body conditioning that helps build muscular endurance, core strength, as well as flexibility, coordination and balance. It literally transforms the way your body looks and performs, creating a toned physique with that flat belly we all strive for. It’s also great for people with back problems and even helps to alleviate pain. Pilates Bahrain is active at Studio RCT where they run a range of fitness classes including Pilates on the mat and on the barre. They also do Yogafitlates sessions. From BD20 every four classes (mat) or BD10 per class (on barre). Timings vary. RCT Studio, Orchid’s Dream No. 1, Sanabis (3944 5816).
Zumba Since it was founded in the 1990s by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto Perez, global lifestyle brand Zumba Fitness has taken the world by storm for its fun approach to getting fit and healthy. It fuses fitness and dance with upbeat rhythms and easy-to-follow choreography to create an effective total-body workout that feels more like a celebration than a gruelling session at the gym. And nothing beats a group Zumba session for plenty of motivation.
In Bahrain, Dessange runs daily Zumba classes at various times in the day with package deals available. From BD5 per class or BD35 for ten. Dessange, Adliya (1771 3999).
Muay Thai Boxing Muay Thai, aka Thai Boxing, is a highly physical sport that’s also known as ‘the art of eight limbs’ because of the combined use of fists, elbows, feet, knees and shins, with plenty of punching and kicking involved. There are loads of health benefits such as cardio, improving muscular endurance, coordination and discipline.
Bahrain Muay Thai has classes for men and women, kids, beginners, seniors and advanced throughout the week from 4pm-9.30pm. From BD25 per month. Salmaniya, opposite the water garden (3436 1565).
Les Mills New Zealand-based Les Mills International has created a series of programmes such as BodyPump, BodyAttack and BodyCombat that have captured the fitness world’s avid attention. For instance, BodyPump is a weight-based group class that’s set to a backdrop of upbeat music and promises to have you lean, toned and fit in no time.
An official Les Mills trainer is based at the Fitness First gyms where they run a host of classes from the series every day, free for members. From BD35 per month or BD399 per year (excluding registration fees). Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama (1713 1499). Other location: East Riffa (1762 0005).
Squash Kick it up a gear with a fast-moving, highly motivating game of squash to work up a serious sweat. There are so many benefits to giving it a go, for instance it’s a great cardio session that builds strength, stamina, coordination and flexibility. So go and grab a court with a pal for a friendly squash session in Bahrain. Non-members of the Marina Club are able to rent one in the mornings for 45 minutes. From BD5 per person. Marina Club, Manama (1729 1527).
CrossFit This fitness fad is spreading rapidly across Bahrain and we now have two official CrossFit affiliates in town. It’s a seriously tough work out but promises to target all areas of fitness and all muscles in your body for a complete total body work out that even military professionals revere. It’s done in a ‘box’ with very few machines and plenty of body strength, plus the camaraderie within the CrossFit community is hard to beat. Mainly, you use rowing machines, a few weights and a series of conditioning movements like push-ups and squats.
To join in, you can try CrossFit Delmon, Bahrain’s first official affiliate, where classes run from Saturday to Thursday throughout the day, including for beginners and ladies only. From BD5 per class or BD30 for ten. Barbar, Budaiya (3675 5499).
Stay safe outside
For those of you who wish to bravely venture outside for your work-out, Craig Heslop from Tribal Fitness shares his top tips to staying safe yet fit in the heat
1. Start and finish each day with a 15 minute walk. If your goal is to lose excess body fat, the extra movement will help you achieve this. A morning walk raises your metabolic rate and mobilises the joints. An evening walk replaces sedentary behaviour and encourages a good night’s sleep.
2. Maintain optimal hydration. Transitioning between dry, air-conditioned environments and the hot outdoors can leave us parched. Avoid soda drinks and caffeine, as these diuretics will leave you more dehydrated.
3. Enjoy some smart sun exposure each day. The heat of the summer months can encourage us to stay indoors all day. This can lead to a deficiency in vitamin D. Associated risks of insufficient vitamin D can include cognitive degeneration and an increased BMI (Body Mass Index). Your morning walk should take care of this for you!