If you’re exercising while fasting during Ramadan, the general top bit of advice is not to over do it.
Experts from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi say that fatigue, recovery and dehydration need to be taken into consideration whilst working out in Ramadan, and that choosing low intensity cardio options such as walking or light jogging can help avoid sudden drops in blood sugar levels, but still leave you feeling energised and in a good mood.
Spending time in nature and walking out in the fresh air also brings multiple other benefits such as reduced blood pressure, and lower levels of stress and anxiety.
So, why not use this Ramadan as an opportunity to explore some of the many picturesque and pedestrian-friendly walking routes of the UAE capital?
Al Maryah Island
Head down towards the water from The Galleria Mall and take in the bright lights of Downtown Abu Dhabi as you loop the city’s most glamorous shopping and dining destination via the island’s spacious and purpose-made walkway. The close proximity to the water provides a cool and welcome breeze as you stride out and shed all the stresses of your day, and you easily extend your walk by crossing one of the bridges back into the city centre, or by heading over to Reem Island.
Al Raha Beach
Walking around a residential area might not sound as exciting as the likes of Yas Marina Circuit, or as idyllic as the Corniche, but this desirable suburb of Abu Dhabi is blessed with a beautiful waterside path. Join the local joggers and walkers and follow it all the way from Al Zeina, through Al Muneera and over to Al Raha, with the picture-perfect surrounding scenes of Yas Island and the glorious sparkling waters of the Gulf there to keep you motivated along the way. On a clear day you can see almost as far as the city, and you can always stop at one of the area’s many cafes and restaurants for suhoor afterwards.
As one of the world’s most sustainable urban communities, it’s only fitting that Masdar City provides exceptional facilities for outdoor exercise. The innovative, futuristic complex boasts a 5.6km running track, starting at Masdar Park and carrying on round past Etihad Plaza and along the edge of Khalifa City. Quiet and peaceful, it’s a great opportunity to check out Masdar’s vast array of solar panels, plus the super sustainable Eco-Villa, which uses around 72 per cent less energy than a typical Abu Dhabi home. Small pods of outdoor gym equipment are also dotted throughout, meaning you have the option of fitting in some gentle strength training along with topping up your daily step count.
Scattered with luscious green parks and golden beaches, the 8km-long Abu Dhabi Corniche is the city’s pride and joy. Always bustling and busy during Ramadan evenings, the wide, flat and perfectly maintained promenade provides plenty of room for everyone, while the adjacent cycle path means you aren’t competing for space with those who are on two wheels, rather than two feet. Hugging the beautiful blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, it provides photo opportunities galore. Plus, with showers, toilets, cafes and even a gym along the route, you can easily turn your walk into a whole night out.
The Eastern Mangroves
Make your Ramadan workouts extra special by taking them over to one of the city’s most precious areas of natural beauty. Abu Dhabi’s majestic and ancient protected Mangrove National Park instantly inspires a wonderful sense of calm, and the long promenade stretches all the way from the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, along the newly renovated Al Gurm Corniche and its many parks, and into downtown. The city skyline in the background provides a mesmeric example of urban and natural landscapes working in harmony, and coming here for sunrise or sunset is particularly magical.
Yas Marina Circuit
There simply can’t be many more awe-inspiring Ramadan walking routes in the world than the track at Yas Marina Circuit. Thanks to TrainYAS, residents and visitors to the capital are invited to stretch their legs around the iconic 5.55km loop every Monday and Wednesday evening, while ladies can also attend private sessions on Tuesdays, too. The thrill of being able to enter this world-famous structure for free never gets old, and it’s a great way of fitting in some Abu Dhabi sight-seeing, and breaking up the working week with some highly Instagram-worthy strolls. Better still, the timings are adjusted during Ramadan to fit around iftar. Open to walkers from 7.30pm to 11.30pm, you have plenty of time to let your food digest before heading out for your nightly cardio.