Tips and tricks

Tags: Good Living
Tips and tricks
The past week saw record temperatures in various parts of India. Such weather is not at all conducive for working out. In situations like this, the priority is to keep oneself safe and healthy. Obviously, working out in the open in the day is not an option, and while you can still workout in the air-conditioned comfort of your home or your gym, this is the time to take extra precautions. Even as the temperatures come down to closer to the normal temperatures for the season, the fact remains that we all need to plan carefully and be smart about how we go about our workouts in Indian summers.

It is important we dress right for working out so, invest in some wicking clothes. They’ll pull moisture away from your skin, so you really do feel cooler. Virtually all major brands offer such qualities in their workout clothes.

Take a cold shower: I know it seems a little odd to shower before a workout, but the cold water would cool you down. Leave your hair wet (and pop it in a bun), so when you head outside, the water dripping down your face and neck would feel so refreshing. If you have short hair, carry a water bottle with you and squeeze a little on top of your head whenever you need a little cooling boost. If you are still brave enough to head outdoors, try and choose the coolest part of the day, either early morning or late evening for your outdoor workouts.

Head indoors: Now is a good time to take advantage of a monthly membership at an air-conditioned gym. Can’t afford it? Burn calories by following fitness DVDs, jumping rope, running up and down your stairs, or doing strength training routines at home.

Shorten or split up workouts: Summertime isn’t the best time to push yourself, so if you can only handle 10 minutes at a time, do what you can, or exercise twice in a day.

Slow down your pace: If you’re set on getting in a 30-minute workout, move with less intensity or do intervals to avoid overheating. Remember, it’s fine to take breaks too.

Stay hydrated: Drink water all day, not just before or after your workout. This will help prevent some of the symptoms you may experience from exercising in heat such as dizziness, stomach cramps, and headaches. During your run, sip four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. Try and drink as much coconut water as you can. Make sure that the electrolytic balance of the body is maintained despite excessive perspiration.

When it comes to your body, do not neglect to stretch properly, either first in the morning or before going to bed. As we perspire excessively, the tendency to cramp during extremely hot weather is always a danger. Identify if you are prone to lack of flexibility in any body part, and concentrate on that. There may be days when that flexibility session will be the only exercise you do on an extremely hot day.

If you are lucky enough to be able to work out in a nice air-conditioned gym, then by all means, carry on your workouts as before. In case that is not possible, prioritise your wellbeing; wait out the period of excessive heat and stay healthy to keep on working on your fitness as the weather improves.

(The author is a wellness expert and runs a fitness centre in New Delhi)

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