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Sports and Outdoor

Rock the gym!

The workout that’s tipped to become 2018’s hottest fitness craze

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It’s been compared to everything from high-speed Twister to an arcade dance game marathon (a sugar rush-induced one, that is). But make no mistake: Prama, a training system based on spacial references on the floor and walls, is all about fun and fitness.

“Prama Youth, the version for youngsters, involves circuit-style training, mostly based on body weight or exercises with light weights,” Hanna Beliayeva, Prama master trainer and fitness instructor at Fairmont The Palm tells us. “It includes competition challenges on different stations with lights, including ‘Fast Feet’ and ‘Who’s Faster’.”

Prama Youth, designed for kids aged 14 to 18, is known internationally as Prama Kids & Family. The sport promises “fitness disguised as fun” and a host of benefits for kids on both physiological and psychological levels. Experts claim it can help manage obesity, ADHD and depression, and improve cognitive functions such as motor skills and memory.

In terms of social development, you won’t be disappointed, either. Prama for kids fosters sportsmanship values such as healthy competition, self-esteem, and teamwork. “Prama by Pavigym, which is the programme we have at Fairmont, is a lot of fun. The lights and music help keep kids’ attention for the whole 45 minutes,” says Bellayeva. “It’s combinations of different exercises, so they’ll never get bored. And it helps improve the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. The kids also get to make new friends.”

Bellayeva says that just 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day could lead to lower obesity rates. “Play-based activities help develop a broad range of skills. Aerobic activity increases the size of essential brain structures and the number of neural connections,” she adds.

Bellayeva’s experience has helped her bring the best version of Prama Kids & Family through Prama Youth in Dubai. A professional athlete of 13 years with an International Master’s of Sport in free-style wrestling, and five years’ experience as a personal trainer (PT), she began her career as a PT at Fairmont Baku Hotel, arriving at Fairmont The Palm two years later.

So how is Bellayeva using her experience as an athlete and PT to build a fully engaging physical experience for kids?

“Our goal is to teach primal movements and place greater emphasis on muscular and cardiovascular fitness,” she explains. “We also want to teach them about team spirit. Based on this, we create a different fitness programmes for kids.”

As you’ve probably guessed, kids love the idea of light stations for a completely different type of workout. But some older kids and teenagers demanded a more grown-up programme, and that’s when the Dubai hotel added a new class to it’s family-friendly schedule.

“Teenage Fit offers a lot of different variations of exercises including relay-style and circuit training-style classes. The workout involves body-weight exercises and others with equipment such as steppers, medicine balls, hurdles and rope ladders,” says Bellayeva. Taught by
Puneet Singh, fitness instructor and personal trainer at Fairmont The Palm, the class follows a more traditional approach to kids’ exercise.

So what fitness tips can the Prama Youth instructor offer to children? “Kids should participate in fun games. For example, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and something that involves teamwork to encourage healthy competition,” she says.

The Prama master trainer also encourages parents to get involved; kids enjoy more if they see their parents having fun, too! “Limit TV and computer time. Movement is important, and can be anything from going outside and playing tag to walking the dog and group games at the local playground. Put it in everyone’s diaries to ensure it happens!”

Well, you heard the lady: let’s get moving, mums and dads!
Dhs85 per class (45 minutes, kids/teenagers aged 14-18). Prama Youth, Fri 12.30pm-1.15pm, Teenage Fit, Sat 4pm-4.45pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai (04 457 3388).

Little Gladiators
Kickboxing and Capoeira

With Little Gladiators’ Unlimited Access package, your kids can go for a range of classes including kickboxing and capoeira (Brazilian martial arts), as well as Mum & Tots Gymnastics.
Dhs650. Golden Mile, Palm Jumeirah (04 240 8709).

Little Legends
Tennis and football

Designed for kids aged 18 months to six years, the Teddy Tennis and Little Kickers (football) classes at Little Legends give tots a positive introduction to sport.
Prices vary. Various locations including Cluster C, JLT (055 708 0689).

My First Gym
Gymnastics and swimming

The gym offers developmental classes for kids aged three, including gymnastics and swimming classes to increase their confidence in water.
Prices vary. Various locations including Delma Street, Abu Dhabi (02 444 3560).

Time Out Dubai,

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