training outdoors
It’s the perfect time to get your dose of Nature while achieving your fitness goals. Image Credit: Unsplash/Gabin Vallet

Picture unfurling a yoga mat by the beach in the quiet tranquility of early morning hours - it's just you, the fresh breeze and the sound of waves. Exercising outdoors just may be your sole motivation to get things moving, as we approach cooler climes in the UAE.

Is outdoor exercise better than indoor?

Portable training gear can truly turn any Nature spot into your favourite gym, one that you will actually like going to. Dayana Solano, a Dubai-based yoga teacher of 15 years and a nutritionist, holds all her classes under the open sky. Exercising is just much more enjoyable that way, she tells Gulf News.

"To get the complete benefit of fitness training, always head outside. Exercise in places you love in Dubai, and you'll see that it's a different way of going out. The quality of the air is better outdoors, and it's also good for the mind. Even if you're in the city, get yourself to the rooftop or a higher floor to avoid traffic pollution - the view is not comparable to indoors," said Solano.

Nature is therapy for the mind, body and soul, adds Jelena Jovanovic, a certified fitness trainer at DubaiPT Personal Trainers. "It's been scientifically proven that training outdoors can improve mood and mental health. Natural surroundings help you disconnect from distractions, enhance mental clarity and increase your energy level," said Jovanovic.

What do you need for training outdoors?

Before you head out with training gear, make sure every workout is accounted for. Indoor gym equipment usually keeps tabs on time spent, calories burnt and other useful metrics; outdoors, a fitness tracker could be your best buddy. Solano uses her Apple Watch to check on breathing quality during sessions and listen to music.

There is a lot of opportunity for outdoor training in Dubai, especially fitness activities held in groups. You can even sweat it out in your own good time by jogging, doing yoga, rollerskating or simply walking down Palm Jumeirah, JBR Beach, Marina Walk and more, advised Solano.

Toss in a few lightweight pieces of equipment, and you can easily replace your gym routine. "You have the flexibility to create your own outdoor workouts tailored to your preferences and fitness goals. Resistance bands, medicine balls, jump rope and kettlebells are a few suggestions. A bench or a wall can also be used for training, but we can bring along an aerobic stepper," explained Jovanovic.

Agility and speed training is another group of workouts that's more suited for the outdoors. An expert we previously spoke to advised agility ladders and cones for a fun family activity to maintain flexibility.

Editor's tip
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We've curated a list of recommended gear and items with rave ratings below, whether you prefer resistance training or cardio exercises out in the open. You can add these items to your cart, take advantage of New Year Offers, and get some of them delivered as early as today, via Amazon Prime delivery.

1. Best Yoga Set: BalanceFrom GoYoga 7-Piece Set

Instead of investing in a singular yoga mat, go for an entire set that you can carry with you no matter where you go. BalanceForm's half-inch-thick mat is popular among reviewers for withstanding the outdoors, more so if you need extra cushioning for the knees. Both surfaces are non-slip and moisture-resistant to prevent injuries. Bonus accessories include two microfibre yoga towels, a thick knee pad, two yoga blocks for support and a stretch strap. It's the ideal beginners' package at a great value - more advanced yogis can check out dedicated travel yoga mats here.

2. Best Jump Rope: Proiron Skipping Rope

Jumping rope is one of the simplest ways to improve cardio health and engage the muscles in your shoulders, arms, core and legs at once. In theory, any sturdy skipping cord will do, but in public spaces, this could pose a hazard to those around you. Proiron equipment offers a novel solution with cordless jumping. It has a dual-rope configuration with ball bearings to mimic the experience of the traditional rope, attached to weighted anti-slip handles. One handle carries an LED display with circles jumped, time and your set weight to calculate a burnt calorie estimate. Reviewers love the concept of a weighted jump rope for a more strenuous workout. Those who found trouble with skipping ropes getting caught in their feet leave five stars on this practical gadget.

3. Best Aerobic Step: The Step Original Aerobic Platform, Circuit Size

You can use a multifunctional aerobic step to carry out any training in mind. Weighted squats, planks, burpees, mountain climbers, warm-ups, and so much more, are possible on the low-impact stepper. There's no better option than The Step, a durable unit made of recyclable high-density polyethylene and grooved surface. Users of up to 181kg can comfortably adjust their workout difficulty with the included risers. Reviewers attest to its sturdiness on the ground and note how it's light enough for carrying.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a 90-day warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

4. Best Resistance Bands: Tomshoo Pull-Up Assist Bands (5-Pack)

Loop them around a tree, bench leg, your foot or the neighbourhood monkey bar, and feel the burning tension in your muscles as you pull and release latex bands. Resistance training doesn't have to be done with a pair of dumbbells, these five-piece exercise bands work just fine on their own. Each band has a different tension range, starting from 2kg to 56kg, and the best pick for you will depend on your own body weight. The set also arrives with a door anchor and two handles for a more secure grip, all packed in a storage pouch. Buyers shop the set several times, confirming the reliable stretch on these.

5. Best for Body Weight Training: Gaor Innovative Push Up Board (9 in 1)

If you’re a newbie to calisthenics and are looking to maximise your upper body strength, look no further. This push-up board by Gaor Innovative is designed to optimise your technique and avoid injuries – and you can use it to work out anywhere you want. It has an effective colour-coded system to target specific muscles, such as chest, shoulders, back, and triceps, and to promote proper form. All you need to do to develop your major and minor muscle groups is to mix and match multi-colour positions to perform different kinds of push-ups. Reviewers call it a game-changer for their workouts, and are especially impressed by the targeted muscle training after seeing noteworthy results.

6. Best for Agility Training: SKLZ Speed and Agility Ladder

Ideal for both children and adults, this speed and agility ladder sets up easily in a park, at the beach, or in the backyard of your home for a quick warm-up. Jump between the 11 heavy-duty plastic rungs and develop core skills to enhance balance, rhythm and body control. This is all the more essential for those who play a sport. Reviewers pick it up for tennis, basketball, baseball and soccer practice, having pinned the ladder down on fields using the four included stakes. They love that it comes in a carrying bag.

7. Best Wearable Weight: Movido Wrist and Ankle Weights (2 per set)

Looking for a discreet alternative to dumbbells during yoga, pilates or aerobics? Get a pair of stylish Movido bands that work as both wrist and ankle weights, adding up to 0.5kg on each limb. Put them on before a simple cardio exercise, like walking, and enjoy resistance training along the way. Don't worry about the size - the base is an elastic band with a velcro fastener and the weights can be added or removed per preference. As for the results, reviewers add that workouts take more effort, with several noting how their arms look toned with consistent use.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.