Easy ways to switch your habits for the better in Dubai and stay on the right track
With constant sunshine and an array of amazing food and beverage around, Dubai may not be the easiest place to be healthy. From taking care of you skin to watching your waistlines, here are 22 life hacks that guaranteed to make you healthier.
Stock up on baking soda Craving a home-made cake? There are other uses for that baking soda in your kitchen cupboard.
1) Why not use it to give those veggies in the fridge a good scrub. The white stuff is great for getting rid of pesticides and grit from your fresh produce, so you can be extra sure you’re not consuming any nasty chemicals left behind. And did you know a teaspoon in a glass of water after meals can help deal with heartburn? 2)Additionally baking soda is useful after a few too many hours on the beach. Try soothing sunburn by adding a cup to your bath and feel the benefits. 3)Run out of toothpaste? Scoop some upon your brush and voila… it’ll whiten your gnashers and kill harmful bacteria in your mouth.
4)There are so many alternative uses for the sweet stuff. Forget scented lips balms when trying to keep your pout moisturized in the skin-damaging heat. You can actually treat chapped lips and dry skin with honey! Just mix with almond oil and beeswax. 5)Are you easily affected by constantly switching between sweltering outdoor heat to a refreshingly cool air-conditioned buildings? Sooth a sore throat by adding some honey to your hot drink next time you do a tea run. Apparently it’s as effective as syrups when battling a nasty cough. 6)Lastly if you’re feeling tired, don’t reach for can after can of energy drinks for a boost. A couple of spoons of honey will do the trick thanks to natural sugars.
Try a different pear
7)We all know the good fat in avocados are good for us, but not everyone likes the taste of this kind of pear. Replace butter with this when baking desserts or crush it down to a smooth paste and use in sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. 8)It’s not only about eating avocados. As they’re rich in natural emollients, old avocados are perfect for creating a face mask and getting nutrients to the skin from the exterior.
Pull out the peanut butter
9)Not for emergency sandwich purposes. Found yourself in a predicament when you’ve run out of protein powder following exercise? If you’ve got peanut butter in your larder, you can still make that shake to help repair muscles after a workout. Best of all, the texture of your drink will probably be smoother.
Get out of your seat
10)Like many hot locations there’s not much walking done in this city. So it’s understandable you might be feeling sluggish at the end of the day thanks to hopping from cab, to Metro to tram... Perhaps you’d feel less inactive by standing at your desk? Did you know 170 pound male would burn an extra 200 calories by standing at work for five hours? Even Victoria Beckham likes to watch her weight while working by using a treadmill desk. If you don’t have a desk which allows you to adjust the height, bring an exercise ball to work and switch you usual chair for it. You’ll have to subconsciously use your stomach muscles more to stay upright, that’s an abs workout five days a week!
Don’t eat in front of the TV
11) There’s nothing like mindless eating to make you consume more calories than necessary.So when Dubai gets too hot to be hanging around outdoors, and you’re spending more time at home, eat your meals off a plate or in controlled portion sizes if they are snacks. For example, don’t bring an entire family-sized chocolate bar with you to the couch, instead eat a couple of squares before you settle down to watch a movie. Imagine how much less you’d eat if you only ate at the dining table when at home?
12) Cereal will only fill you up for so long. Apparently consuming 30g of protein can help increase metabolism by up to 30 percent for 12 hours. Having eggs or a lean meat such as turkey bacon first thing will also help stave off feelings of hunger and keep you feeling fuller longer. So if you’re eager to reduce snacking or being so hungry by midday that you binge on junk, make brekkie the most important meal of your day.
Eat high-fat foods
13) Yes, it’s not always about eating low fat food when trying to be healthy. In the same way protein is good for controlling the appetite, nuts, fish, olive oil, etc will keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied for longer, therefore you’re likely to eat less.
Drink more water
14) Did you know women stay hydrated by guzzling down 90 ounces of H2O and men need to consume 120 ounces? If you’re doing exercise you need to gulp more of the clear stuff to replace any lost through sweat and throughout the summer in Dubai you’ll probably be dripping buckets. So set yourself some water goals – a 500ml bottle waking up and with your three meals, plus extra sips at bedtime, during exercise and when in the sun. You’ve got to be hydrated to be healthy.
15) Ditching the fresh produced aisles and heading for the freezers at Carrefour probably isn’t the best way to live a healthy lifestyle if you don’t get past the ice cream. But if you buy frozen vegetables as opposed to fresh or tinned, you could actually be making a healthier choice. As long as they’re not in calorific sauces, even opting for fish and meat from the freezer is a good idea as the flash-freezing process maintains more of the nutritional value. Take iron-packed spinach for example; fresh is more expensive for the amount you get after cooking and plus you’ll have to get rid of it if you don’t scoff it before the shelf life is up.
Get some shut-eye
16) It’s something we all have to do. Now all you need to do is just make sure you do it properly – get around eight hours kip - and you could be slimmer for it. Those who aren’t constantly feeling tired make better meal choices and therefore tend to be closer to their ideal weight and happier.
17) The perfect excuse to find yourself at Movida or Mahiki, dancing is good for you in so many ways. Not only does it burn major calories, but it’s more fun and less repetitive than hitting the gym. It’s also been proven to reduce stress and depression, improve memory and help fight off cardiovascular disease.
Exercise in the morning
18) You’re more likely to maintain your workout routine if done first thing. Rise early, warm that body up and feel energized throughout the day. Your meals will probably be healthier choices too, you won’t want to undo all those calories burned with a large McDonald’s meal.
Keep a food diary
19) Writing down absolutely everything you eat will make you less likely to graze on unhealthy items. Plus documenting meals will help you realise where you’re going wrong or right in terms of weight loss or gain and even in cases of working out food intolerances.
Workout with a pal
20) There’s nothing like the feeling of letting someone down to put you to shame. If you can’t find a friend willing to keep tabs on you as far as exercise goes, join a fitness club like Tribefit. The Dubai gym creates a social experience where members are even encouraged to socialize for movie screenings and enjoy a beverage together on the terrace. Have fun swapping fitness tips!
Create a playlist
21) Get pumped up about exercising by playing motivational tunes. Apparently tunes that are 145 beats per minute or a bit higher are the best for getting us excited to move. So line up your favourite tracks and the time on the treadmill will just whizz by. Prepare prepare prepare
22) Make your meals in advance, lay out your exercise kit and even plan travel time. When it comes to heading to the gym or sticking to a healthy eating plan we’ll often find excuse after excuse to not to go whether it’s mislaying your sports shoes or not having enough time make good food. Thankfully there are healthy meal delivery services like Kcal to save to day and gyms such as 24 Fitness enable you to store clothing if you use their locker rental service. No excuses.