For some, the sunrise means the start of a new day and time to brew a fresh cup of coffee, get ready and head to work.

For others living in the bustling city of Dubai, the rise of the sun means it’s time to squeeze in the day’s workout before being pinned at the work desk for the next 9 hours.

As the sun rises up in the sky, residents in the city engage in various available workout options ranging from jogging around the palm, making their way to their community gym, joining a workout class or attending an outdoor cross fit class.

Moreover, in the latest splash-worthy workout craze that has made it’s way to Dubai, residents are oddly turning to inflatable water matts for their source of exercise.

Getting dressed to go to the gym, exercise enthusiasts get into a pool and swim to their aqua yoga matts and climb on top for an intensive 30-minute barefoot workout.

According to UK-based website, The Daily Mail, the high intensity workout, that consists of short exercise bursts, is scientifically proven to shed hundreds of calories in a minimal amount of time.

For those with a tight schedule, this newly active workout, otherwise known as Aquaphysical, is designed to give you an effective workout in as little as 30-minutes on a floating and inflatable yoga matt board.

Risking the chance of being plunged in cold water, trainees perform sets of squats, burpees and push-ups alternated by yoga stretches all the while keeping their balance in-check.

American fitness pioneer Leila Francis Coleman, who at the age of 27 left her job as a business analyst to become a fitness trainer had originated the unordinary workout.

Getting inspired after spending most of her life sailing in the ocean, Leila would experience body aches in her efforts to stay afloat,

“My muscles would go into overdrive trying to give me enough stability not to get tipped off the dingy.”

She had then decided that a water-type exercise was an efficient niche exercise to look into.

After taking some time to study the industry and design the perfect aqua matt, Leila launched the water-based workout in swimming pools across the US earlier this year.

Not soon after, the crazed workout had made its way to Dubai at The Burj Club in the world-recognized Burj Khalifa through PUMA’s DO YOU women’s fitness campaign.

“It was a weekend of fitness and fashion where we involved a lot of studios and gyms from around Dubai to participate in the event,” said Samyukta Ranganathan, senior marketing manager at PUMA Middle East.

The only ladies gym, was one of the first to host the unique workout class in their indoor swimming pool with the corresponding aqua matts.

“Everyone loved it – it was different and challenging and a lot of fun.”

“A lot of people signed up for classes after seeing other people try it out,” Ranganathan added.

The PUMA team had decided to include the unique workout in their latest brand campaign after noticing the feedback received online, especially the amount of Facebook shares the exercise had gotten in such a short amount of time.

“We thought it would be a really cool workout to bring to the UAE since it hadn’t been done before and we were hosting a large women’s event and wanted to include this,” Ranganathan said.

Many, however, are skeptical of the workout and its benefits.

Leila has explained to The Daily Mail, that exercising on the board on top of water works the core and raises the heart rate because of the body’s effort to maintain balance throughout different workout positions.

Brendan Venter from a cross fit gym in Dubai backed up the effectiveness of Leila’s balance-focused exercise and said,

“When you are trying to stay balanced, the most muscles used are the core muscles because they connect to every other body part and are basically the backbone to a person’s balance.”

“A balance exercise on its own might not be effective but trying to maintain the balance while performing another type of exercise is definitely a different and great way to get in shape!” He concluded.

So regardless of how Dubai residents stay in shape, perhaps trying to make a splash in the pool might be a good enough reason to beat the scorching desert heat!


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