Dubai’s fitness community is a helpful lot: raising awareness and support for a variety of initiatives almost every weekend. From joining in with millions of others around the world last June for the Parley Run for the Oceans to those souls donning trainers with their business suits to walk into DIFC every day, there are a growing number of ways to work out and help reduce the strain on our eco-system. SUP CleanUP, Sweat for Sustainability and gyms that provide water refilling stations are leading the way.
In an effort to fight against the plastic waste polluting the ocean, Dubai’s SUP CleanUp wants you to head out to sea. This friendly group invites guests to hop on a SUP board and paddle in the waters outside the Surf House, collecting any rubbish along the way.
“Basically we’re just a small group of ocean lovers who dislike plastic and the harm it’s causing,” SUP CleanUP rep Carlo Fusie-Ferrero explains. “The ocean gives us so much joy and peace and in return we are filling it with plastic.”
One million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while around 500 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. A lot of this ends up in the sea, harming wildlife and killing fish.
“We just want to share our knowledge and clean the ocean while we’re out enjoying a paddle, and do what we can to save the innocent. Whether big or small, each action counts,” says Fusie-Ferrero.
SUP CleanUp happens sporadically throughout the year. To hop on a free paddle board and do some good, check out the group’s Facebook page.
Sweat for Sustainability
If you’ve ever wanted to help the environment while working out, this Dubai eco-focused group is for you.
Each month, Sweat for Sustainability partners with a different brand that is doing something sustainable. This ranges from companies that are banning plastic straws to those selling reusable drinking bottles. Sessions begin with a quick speech to explain the eco-efforts of the brand involved, then it’s time to sweat.
“Sustainability is something I’m really passionate about and I wanted to do something that helped raise awareness around the issue of single-use plastic,” says Sweat for Sustainability founder, Milli Midwood.
The circuit-style strength and cardio workouts are done in partnership with Beyond Human in Al Quoz.
“What’s been really interesting is how people bring their own ideas of sustainability to the table. I’m focused on plastic, but others have been concerned with the farming/veganism side, and another on how we produce waste in our homes,” says Midwood.
Eventually, Midwood hopes to turn Sweat for Sustainability into a full-fledged charity – something that will take time, due to the need for licenses and registrations. “We’re still at the very early stages, so at the moment we’re just trying to raise awareness. We’re hoping when the bootcamp gets enough traction, we can make a louder noise.”
Get involved via Facebook.
Refill that water bottle
Gyms have a lot to answer for when it comes to the UAE’s single-use plastic problem. Because not all of them in Dubai provide water stations to refill your own water bottle – outrageous, we know. Here are some that do: Dubai Ladies Club; Train Strength and Fitness; Urban Yoga; Zen Yoga; Fitness First; FitRepublik; Crank; Flywheel; Orange Theory; Gold’s Gym; Define; NRG Fitness; SmartFitnessUAE; Pilates Academy; F45 Dubai; Zoga Dubai; Tkmmafit; Platform Studios.
As for refillable water bottles that make the cut, HydroFlask is great for keeping things cold for ages, while Corkcicle has three-layer insulation technology for 25-hour chill. Namshi and Asos also sell seriously stylish options.
Featured photo: Michael Henry/Unsplash
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist. In addition to working as editor-in-chief of Women's Health Middle East and Men's Health Middle East, Danae has written for The Sunday Times, CNN Travel, Dubai Tourism, The Guardian, Afar, Bloomberg and many more. She's based in Dubai and is a trainer at Crank. instagram.com/danaemercer