From micro workouts to early dinner: 6 trends UAE experts recommend for healthier lifestyle

Healthcare specialists share tips on wellness practices that are expected to witness a rise in 2023


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sat 7 Jan 2023, 5:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 7 Jan 2023, 7:59 PM



The pandemic shifted people’s attention toward health and highlighted the significance of wellness, which includes every aspect of physical, mental, and emotional health.

It also taught us about compassion, self-care, and community care. A whole new concept of a healthy lifestyle, personal hygiene, working from home, and vitamin use (and misuse) is emerging.

Healthcare specialists say that many people have adopted a healthier lifestyle, which includes spending more time on physical activities and a paradigm shift towards a more nutritious diet. Many people are also upgrading their daily fitness routines to have personal me-time, family time, meditation, and yoga.

In keeping with the same thought, medical experts advise on wellness trends that are expected to witness a rise in 2023.

Six healthy trends to follow:

1. Mental Health

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Dr Mais M Mauwfak, specialist internal medicine and head of intensive care at Thumbay Hospital, Ajman said: “One of the biggest trends to emerge in 2023 is prioritsing mental health and stress management as a preventive measure because if the mental health is maintained, then, by default, the physiological and psychological well-being will be safe,”

2. Micro Workouts

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Micro-workouts are brief bursts of intense activity that can be done within 2-3 minute segments over the course of the day that contributes to improving cardiovascular and respiratory health. “With people lacking time, performing these workouts can benefit them to burn a higher number of calories in a short amount of time, allowing them to improve mobility, endurance, and strength. Also, one of the biggest advantages of following frequent but smaller movement regimes is the convenience of time and place with no money charges,” said Dr Mais.

“One or two-minute bursts of exercise roughly three to four times a day, like speed-walking while commuting to work or rapidly climbing stairs, showed a nearly 50 per cent reduction in cardiovascular mortality risk,” said Dr Ravi Arora, Internist, Diabetologist & Endocrinologist, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“Micro Exercises like two minutes squats, wall sits, push-ups, jumping jacks, crunches, and dips with a 10-second break between each activity help to trigger the metabolism and provide health benefits by lowering the risk of stroke and cardiovascular events,” added Dr Arora.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Physical Activity Guidelines suggest adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise weekly.

The benefits of shorter duration with multiple exercise sessions provide flexibility and will fit into the daily schedule without compromising work and family time.

3. Sleep syncing

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Sleep syncing is a wellness trend that’s emerging in 2023, according to many leading experts and publications. It means adjusting the sleep cycle and circadian rhythm by waking up when the sun rises and sleeping when the moon comes out. “Majority of the population is looking for techniques to get better sleeping habits, especially during the night for 6-8 hours, as this helps enhance body metabolism and reduce stress levels and the risk of diabetes,” said Dr Mais.

4. Digital Detox

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Surviving a pandemic that remarkably increased technology usage– from online classes to Zoom meetings – has led to screen fatigue. Digital detoxing means the reduction of the toxic side effects of devices on mental health, especially eyes, posture, and emotions. “Easy techniques such as taking a complete break when possible, utilizing the lunch and travel time to connect with people online, or monitoring your screen usage can be therapeutic and healthy,” said Dr Mais.

5. Early dinners/having the last meal before sunset

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having an early dinner is crucial to digestion and maintaining regular fasting blood sugar. It has lasting effects on improving sleep quality and mental health.

“Many people think it’s a bad idea to eat before bed. This often comes from the belief that eating before you sleep leads to weight gain. However, some claim that a bedtime snack can support a weight loss diet. Eating before bed doesn’t necessarily make you gain weight, it depends on eating habits and the calorie content of the food (items that contain unhealthy fats and added sugars). In reality, what you eat is much more important than when you eat,” said Rola Fakhri Al Talafha, nutritionist and diabetic educator at Bareen International Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

Some great options include:

  • Carrot sticks with hummus
  • Apple slices with a small portion of your favourite nut butter
  • Plain air-popped popcorn
  • A handful of frozen grapes
  • Vegetable salad or soup with low-fat protein

6. Healing Holidays

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Taking a holiday from regular life stressors is always rejuvenating, especially after the pandemic. During the past couple of years, nearly everyone got affected due to covid, either physically, psychologically, or financially.

“People crave a break and want to refresh their lives. A healing holiday can help to take time out of daily routine and to focus on themselves to recharge,” said Dr Dhanesh Kuruppam Parambil Gopalan, clinical psychology, NMC Royal Hospital – Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi.

“People are focused on discovering active outdoor holidays that encourage the improvement of overall well-being, according to the Global Wellness Institute. Excursions like swimming, walking, biking, yoga retreats, etc, positively improve physical and mental health,” said Dr Mais.


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