Study after study has proven that regular exercise can go a long way to combatting stress and depression. While a couple of laps around the block isn’t a miracle cure, routine physical activity has been shown to be effective in preventing the onset of depression. In 2013, researchers at Princeton University in the US reported in the Journal of Neuroscience that physical exercise in fact reorganises the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. Exercise also produces mood elevators (endorphins and serotonin) and breaks down the stress hormone cortisol. While you’ll need to put together a regular workout plan to really banish the blues, we’ve rounded up some of the city’s most interesting ways to give your happy hormones a boost – and have a giggle in the process.
Queenax suspended yoga
Also referred to as swing yoga, this class adapts conventional yoga positions and movements to a suspended swing made out of fabric. In the class, you’ll sit on, lean and stretch with the assistance of your swing. While it may not be the toughest workout, expect a great stretch and to leave feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Dhs55 for non-members. Engine Health & Fitness, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.ehf.ae (04 381 9999).
Bounce Dubai is the city’s most talked-about new opening, and if you thought trampolining was for kids, think again. Leap from trampoline to trampoline and work up a real sweat in a fast-paced, gravity-defying game of dodgeball at this Australian import, now open in Al Quoz. Learn more about the centre in our Sport & Outdoor section.
Dhs80 (first hour), Dhs70 (second hour). Bounce Dubai, Al Quoz, www.bounce.ae (04 321 1400).
This new fitness class is currently trying to knock Zumba off its perch in cities around the world but is still relatively unknown in Dubai. Try your hand (or rather feet) at this unusual group exercise session at Mantra Fitness Club. While there’s music to move to, there is no choreography or counting steps – instead, you draw letters and numbers with your feet. No natural rhythm required.
Dhs50. Mantra Fitness Club, Ontario Tower, Business Bay, www.mantrafitnessclub.com (04 457 0485).
Beloved of the likes of Beyoncé, the rear-toning workout will set your thighs burning with its combination of dance, Pilates and yoga at the ballet barre. Expect to squat, lift and lunge your way to a toned bod.
Dhs80. Zen Yoga, Emirates Hills, www.yoga.ae (04 422 4643).
Okay, so it’s not strictly a ‘workout’, but you can darn well expect your legs and arms to feel the burn after a session on JBR beach’s newest installation. A giant inflatable assault course sitting on the water, Wibit features climbing walls, rope swings, slides and more, and you can expect to work up a sweat pulling yourself back on board every time you fall off.
Dhs60. The Beach, The Walk, JBR www.wibitsports.com (no number).
Without a doubt the biggest fitness craze to hit the city in the past 12 months, pole workouts have exploded across town. Head to Pole Fit Dubai’s beginners’ class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at Capella Club to find out if it’s for you.
Dhs100. Capella Club, next to Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Marina, www.polefitdubai.com (04 452 6000).
Try Dubai Marina’s TribeFit’s 30-minute core-blasting workout. Using resistance bands, in just half an hour this conditioning class focuses on abdominals, obliques, hips, glutes, backs and shoulders. Include one of these in your routine every week and prepare to give your mood and waistline a boost.
Dhs100 for non-members. Silverene Tower, Dubai Marina, www.tribefit.com (800 87423).
View Don't stress in Dubai
View Eat yourself happy
View Sleep better in Dubai
View Make new friends in Dubai
View Counselling and therapy in Dubai