Sleep, exercise, meditate, eat, drink and more ways to start feeling better about your body
Time Out Dubai staff
Drink less It’s not just the food you consume – even that post-work drink to help you unwind can have a big impact on your waistline, not to mention your overall health. There are 200 calories in the average glass of grape and 187 in the average pint of hops. Regular drinking not only has a negative effect on your weight and skin – in particular the area around your eyes – but it can also have a negative impact on fertility for both men and women. Some excellent facts and advice on reducing your drinking can be found at www.drinkaware.co.uk.
Eat well, whatever your mood Despite an abundance of junk food outlets, it’s not hard to have a healthy diet in Dubai. In fact, the city’s love of convenience makes it even easier. Take a look at these options:
Lazy-ish Get a box of fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to your door every week – no more roaming the aisles of your local supermarket, your fridge stocks itself. Delivery across Dubai, www.goorganic.me.
Lazier Love dining out? There’s no need to give it up, just choose better. Try Heat Café on Jumeirah Beach Road (04 338 8831) for high-protein, low-carb fixes, Omnia Gourmet in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour (04 343 7181), which specialises in raw, vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free dishes and Biorganic Café in TECOM (04 443 3535), which offers gluten-free dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all made with organic produce.
Laziest Have nutritious, balanced meals delivered to your door. Healthy diet plan service Live’ly has a number of packages, from those that include all meals and snacks to those that will just see you through your time in the office. Specially devised programmes are available for weight-loss, muscle building, adolescents, pregnant women and more. Delivery across Dubai, www.lively.ae.
Have a health screening every year Most clinics and hospitals in the city offer well man (in addition to well woman) packages, which includes a comprehensive health check-up that every man over the age of 30 should invest in. Some health insurance providers will cover this, so check with yours, but packages tend to start from around Dhs1,000. At Dubai London Clinic (800 352) for example, you’ll receive a prostate examination, your lifestyle, medical history, body fat percentage, blood pressure and glucose levels will be assessed, and more.
Get more sleep Not only will you be less grouchy, getting the right amount of sleep could also help you lose weight, as insufficient sleep affects ghrelin and leptin – your hunger and fullness hormones. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were sleep-deprived, they ate more late-night nibbles and were more likely to choose high-carbohydrate snacks. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep.
Spinal health It’s estimated that around 630 million people worldwide suffer from some kind of back pain, which at best can leave you feeling unable to get the exercise your body needs. Misalignment can also be the hidden cause of migraines and chronic fatigue. Dubai’s Atlas Spinal Centre in Healthcare City (04 451 8877) specialises in the treatment of these.
Do cardio If you’re already going to the gym regularly, great. But men in particular should make sure they’re not just focusing on pumping iron and defining their biceps. Cardiovascular workouts are essential for keeping your heart – the most important muscle in your body – fighting fit. Brisk walking (for beginners), jogging, playing a sport that involves running up and down a pitch or court, cross-trainers, circuits and bootcamps are all great ways to get a dose of cardio in.
Dental health Several studies have shown a connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, suggesting that poor dental hygiene and high volumes of bacteria in the mouth can infect coronary arteries. At the very least, brushing and flossing your teeth daily and making sure you have a dental check-up every six months can prevent infections or rotting. It can also save you a hefty dental bill later on. You can get a free dental check-up at the British Medical Consulting Centre on Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 2633) or Dubai Sky Clinic in the BurJuman Business Tower in Bur Dubai (04 355 8808).
The power of meditation Mental health is every bit as important as physical health and there are many studies that show mindful meditation can ease psychological stresses such as depression and anxiety. While this can be done alone, if you’ve never tried it before you may want to do a guided session to help you understand how it all works. Miracles in TECOM (04 363 9307) offers one-to-one and group sessions. Alternatively, download a free, guided recording by Harvard Medical School’s Dr Ronald Siegel at www.mindfulness-solution.com.
Monthly self-examinations October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while Dubai turns pink, let’s not forget the important message here. Women should be performing breast self-examinations from the age of 20. For step-by-step directions visit www.breastcancer.org. If you notice anything unusual, contact your doctor.
Get some sun Despite living in a city that offers year-round sunshine, a large number of the population suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, which experts put down to residents avoiding the outdoors during hotter months and wearing clothing that allow no part of their skin to be exposed to direct sunlight. This can lead to fatigue, muscle ache and brittle bones. Fortunately, the solution is reasonably simple – doctors recommend going outside in the sun for around 20 minutes twice a week between 11am and 3pm, wearing sunscreen on your face only.
Regular exercise Male or female, young or old, regular exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Whether you’re into sports, the gym, swimming, running or exercise classes, there’s absolutely loads of choice in Dubai. Women have been particularly lucky recently with the launch of a host of ladies-only workouts, including ladies’ nights at Bounce in Al Quoz (04 321 1400) every Monday from 7pm-10pm.
We take the UAE’s pulse
4-in-5 People in the UAE suffer from preventable tooth decay, according to a 2009 study.
78% Of the UAE population has a vitamin D deficiency, with the highest prevalence among Emirati women.
745,000 UAE residents suffer from diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. Take part in Landmark Group’s Beat Diabetes Walkathon (www.beatdiabetes.me) in Dubai on Friday November 28.
66% Of men in the UAE are overweight and obese. The percent falls to 60 for women, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.
28,000 People enrolled to take part in this year’s Your Weight in Gold weight-loss contest, of which 18,000 qualified and 9,000 returned to record their final weight.
60% Of UAE residents claimed to exercise at least three times a week, according to a survey conducted in 2013 by dmg Events in the build-up to The Life & Style Show.