Words by Laura Beaney
Our most precious commodities – time and health – are, unfortunately, often at odds. Exercise is, of course, integral to fully functioning capacities, but it often falls by the wayside when business and commitments come into play. Experts suggest that those who work out in the morning tend to do better at maintaining fitness goals as their planned practise becomes a habit, offering energy and increased focus throughout the day and leaving less chance for additional tasks to get in the way.
“Life happens! Kids, work, partners, so many things to need your attention in a day,” says Taylor Walsh, a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp. “Working out early makes sure you get it done! It’s also a nice way to start your day – an hour just for you!” And while getting up at the same time as the sun might sound like a daunting prospect – look at it this way; you’re gaining something extra from the day that others are not. Whether it’s a heart- pumping HITT class, a mindful moment or purchasing a pass that allows you to exercise in whichever city you’re working in, we share four ways to make a morning workout your mantra.
The Sharp Awakening: Barry’s Bootcamp
Where: 30 studios across London, the US, and Dubai Best for: Killing calories
Breakdown: Commanding a cult following that includes celebrities, models and Olympic athletes, this signature results-driven workout takes place in a dimly lit room to a soundtrack of uplifting disco beats. Utilising the most effective combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), classes combine 25 to 30 minutes of interval- based cardiovascular routines on treadmills with 25 to 30 minutes of strength training using free weights and resistance bands to burn up to 1,000 calories.
AM benefits: One of the main reasons people prefer to take a HITT class in the morning is the significant impact it has on the rest of their day offering enhanced alertness and a desire to eat well throughout the day. “Getting into the habit of working out in the morning helps keep you on track with your fitness goals,” says Walsh. “After a workout in the morning you tend to make better healthy decisions all day.”
The Mindful: SoulCycle
Where: 74 studios across the US and Canada
Best for: Projecting positivity
Breakdown: A fusion that unites body and mind, SoulCycle is an indoor cycling class and full-body workout in 45 minutes. Burning between 500 and 700 calories, the class combines aerobic and anaerobic movements while burning fat.
AM benefits: SoulCycle will not only help you reach your fitness goals, it also prepares the mind for a positive day through mental release. “It’s a total mind/ body experience! Instructors deliver inspirational messages that leave you feeling stronger and more powerful after every ride,” says Kristyn Clark, SoulCycle. “Our riders tell us every day that what happens in the studio reverberates in their lives outside of it.”
UAE swap: Flywheel
Available in New York and Dubai, Flywheel offers similar fitness benefits to SoulCycle. With a focus on community, coaches guide you through climbs, descents, races, rhythm riding and sprints to supercharge your day all set to carefully curated playlists to motivate and energise.
The Multi-Faceted: Guava Pass, Global Pass
Where: Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei Best for: The business traveller
Breakdown: A truly diverse and comprehensive option for those who divide their time between multiple regions, Guava Pass gives access to a plethora of gyms and classes across Asia.
AM benefits: “By varying from CrossFit, to boxing, to yoga and so on, you’re constantly surprising your body and making your workout routine more effective,” says Thais Kelly, studio relationship manager. “Overall, varying your workout routine can improve your fitness levels as well as aid you in gaining new skills.”
The Technologically Superior: Prama
Where: Fairmont The Palm, Dubai, Harbour Club Kensington, London and Asphalt Green, New York Best for: Advanced interactive experience
Breakdown: This high-intensity, movement-based circuit training uses sensor panels and floor markings to deliver task-orientated movements. Bridging the gap between technology and fitness, a typical class involves lights, music, and a lot of movement.
AM benefits: Starting the day with Prama can also help you to ease into the right frame of mind for the office environment. “These sessions have a strong emphasis on reaction training, which improves one’s alertness and ability to react quicker,” says Prama instructor Emily Tan. “The other factor is because the walls and sprint track respond to touch, the innate competitiveness in us is drawn out and used.”