We’ve told friends in other countries about Qatar’s year-round sunshine before. While it is a major plus, we neglected to mention that, at least when exercising, a few of those months are swelteringly hot.
Right now, however, it’s prime outdoor season. We reckon it’s the perfect time to leave the air-conditioned confines of your gym and get your exercise on outside.
Try these al fresco workouts for size…
The physical benefits of cycling are immense. As well as being a low-impact alternative to jogging that’s kinder on joints, it’s also an excellent workout for the lungs, heart and all manner of muscle groups. Best of all, if done outside, it can be a social activity and one that allows you to see parts of Doha from a different perspective. Take a bike along to the cycle track on Ras Abu Aboud (just after the bridge) or inside The Pearl-Qatar for picturesque routes. Qatar Foundation also has a cycling track inside Education City, and if you want to go a little further up north, Doha Festival City has a brilliant Leisure Trail.
Ras Abu Aboud, The Pearl-Qatar, Doha Festival City.
If done as part of a safe and well-followed exercise regime, rowing is absurdly good for the body. It builds and tones muscles, well, just about everywhere. Plus you get to splash people and, if you’re doing it in a dragon boat, you can pretend you are exploring wild river territory. Qatar Dragon Boat organises regular competitions between teams at various locations around Doha. We really think this might be the most social way to torch those calories.
The good thing about a gym is the group spirit and encouragement you get from fellow members (or, at the least, you can try not to be the slowest and compete against other people). The best thing about being in Doha is you can find joggers at almost every open space. The Pearl-Qatar is possibly the most beautiful spot for an early evening jog, especially if you want to run around the Qanat Quartier canals. MIA Park is perfect, too, with its lush greenery and a coffee shop with the best views in Doha that you can stop by after your jog. Aspire Park is in a league of its own. You can’t really beat a run around the beautiful lake. And if all else fails, you always have the Doha Festival City Leisure Trail with a special lane for joggers.
The Pearl-Qatar; MIA Park, Doha Port; Aspire Park, Aspire Zone; Doha Festival City.
Like a gym. But outdoors. We like to think of it as the best of both worlds. This might not resemble the famous muscle beaches of Los Angeles, but Doha has its own seaside workout zones. Just near the massive oryx statue on the Corniche, you’ll find a variety of frames for pulling, climbing and dangling yourself from, as well as stationary cardio equipment. Probably the most Instagrammable workout in the city and that is what it is all about, right? If the sea isn’t your thing, Aspire Park has some outdoor equipment, too.
Doha Corniche; Aspire Park, Aspire Zone.
The theme tune from the Rocky movies is the ultimate training anthem. It could come in handy at this tough weekly outdoor workout. Just like Rocky himself you can build endurance by running up steps. Every step while you explore the tunnels below Souq Waqif. Every staircase leads to a different area, like a maze. So you could either end up at a beautiful garden, or in a dreary parking spot. A backpack filled with lead weights is entirely optional.