Hot stuff in the UAE's great outdoors
If the rising temperatures over the past two weeks are anything to go by, summer’s going to come early this year.
Soon the only time outdoors for many will be that mad dash from home to the car and car to the office.
So take advantage of the great outdoors for as long as you can - here are a few suggestions to get you started…
Take a hike
Get fit and refreshed by taking a walk. It’s not as harsh on the body as a run and you can take in your surroundings or contemplate the meaning of life along the way. A 30-minute walk, five days a week, is a great way to stay in shape and can boost your chances of avoiding illnesses such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Tony Armstrong of ‘Living Streets’, an alliance working to promote healthy communities, says: “There are so many physical, psychological, social and financial benefits to be gained from walking. Not just improving your physical health but putting you in a great mood, helping you calm down or cheer up, catch up with old friends or make new ones.
“Research shows that regular exercise, such as taking the stairs rather than the lift, can turn back the clock by three years and regular walking can reduce the risk of many illnesses such as heart disease.”
Hit the beach for a walk at sunrise or sunset, you’ll feel much better for getting out and about in a beautiful part of the city.
Clock up some healthy habits
A daily exercise routine doesn’t sound too appetising when the temperature outside is pushing 40 degrees.
But be sensible. You can still fit in a jog or workout early in the day or after dark. With popular running tracks at Safa Park, Jumeirah Beach and Mushrif Park, you can pound the pavements alongside like-minded folk - one visit and you’ll discover that it’s not only the superfit who take to the streets here. Cycling is also a great way to beat the heat and get fit in the process - check the ‘Cycle Safe Dubai’ facebook page for details and safe places to ride. Don’t forget you can have a lot of fun with other sports such as tennis, touch rugby and volleyball. Check out www.duplays.com for a range of activities.
Crank up the BBQ
Can’t stand the heat? Stay out of the kitchen. Restaurants and cafes might be packing away their outdoor furniture in preparation for another sizzling sumner but don’t let that put you off one of the real treats of life in the UAE. Bag yourself a barbecue recipe book for inspiration and get cooking up some healthy fayre on the grill. Take the time to sit down with family and friends and just don’t forget to load up on water - you might be sitting still but you need to stay hydrated.
We were born to be wild
Grab a tent, some outdoor cooking equipment, and get back to nature. Racing down a sand dune and cooking on a campfire are among life’s simplest outdoor pleasures and they’re great ways to get the children away from the computer or TV screen. It might be hot and sticky but a night away in the great outdoors is a fantastic family occasion - much more special than another regulation night in the apartment.
Top destinations in the region include Liwa, the Hatta Mountains and Musandam. Pick up a copy of the UAE Off-Road Explorer for more tips on camping spots and