Health Topics

Healthy Living

May 2012
Get Innovative With Summer Workouts
Dinaz Vervatwala
It is a great feeling to workout in sunshine, whether it is jogging on the beach, playing in outdoor sports’ courts or swimming in the pool. There are plenty of interesting options to stay fit and toned whilst topping up your tan!

Ah, Summer! A time to ‘switch on’ with exciting workouts, blow off steam and have a real cool down. Summer workouts are a great way to get rid of the extras gained during the long winter months. Adding a slice of music to a holiday, a summer workout makes for so much more fun and excitement!

While a daily dose of cardio is what every doctor recommends, summer is brutal on anyone! Don’t get caught up in the idea that the exercise has to be a consistent 30 minutes. Recreational activities can also be exercise; 10 minutes or so, a few times throughout the day, will add up.

It’s not all that difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once! The trouble, of course, comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes. Distractions and the desire for the elusive quick results take over and we throw in the towel.

As the seasons change, the motivation to exercise can diminish. Changing our health habits during summer is a great way to gain control over our eating and exercise routines. We can make better choices and those choices can become habits.

It is a great feeling to do a workout in the sunshine, whether it is jogging on the beach, outdoor sports courts or a swim in the pool. There are plenty of great ways to stay fit and toned whilst topping up your tan! However, it is important that you make the right moves and avoid the risks.

Keep All Risks At A Distance

  • For most of India, it’s the afternoons that are the hottest time of the day. The air is still and there is no breeze. Since you’d be indoors during this time, wake up early and go running or whatever it is you do to get more circulation.
  • Not only do cold fluids cool your body immediately, they are quite effective at replacing fluids you would have lost through perspiration.
  • You should reduce the intake of coffee or tea before (and immediately after) your exercise. Alcohol will also dehydrate your body.
  • Forget about an intensity-based workout in the first 10 to 14 days. This is the time for you to get accustomed to the hot weather.
  • Staying hydrated is most important when exercising in the heat. To keep your water levels up, it’s vital that you drink water during breaks. You could even take along a spray bottle to reduce your temperature. In about 30 minutes after your workout, drink eight ounces more of water. While exercising, keep hydrating yourself with three to six ounces every 15 minutes. And no Coke!
  • Time of the day needs to be considered when planning summer workouts. It is best to avoid direct exposure to the sun during noon. You can also try and adjust your exercise regimen. For example, do an advance booking to get a tennis court in the shade.
  • Dressing appropriately can help control body heat and save you from sunburn. Not everything in your wardrobe has to be slim fit; for outdoor fitness, you need lightweight, loose fitting, light coloured clothes. If you want, a one-time investment can be the Dri-Fit. Choosing lightweight, breathable sportswear will help in keeping the heat off and make exercise more comfortable. Wear an appropriate sunscreen if working out in the sun.
  • Summer diet can ensure that you’re not tempted to skip meals - a common habit during the hotter months. This diet should consist of a good healthy base of oily fish and lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid salt and spices where possible and increase your water intake before and after exercising.
Whether riding bikes with the kids, playing a pick-up game of basketball down at the gym, a yoga class or walking around the neighbourhood after dinner, we typically have more time (and more daylight) to work these activities into our day. So pep yourself up, move, and change your routines to beat the heat this summer!
Make It Fun And Enduring
  • Vary your routines on a more regular basis.
  • Switch to an early morning routine or a late evening routine.
  • Avoid exercising during peak afternoons (between 12pm-3pm).
  • Keep yourself well hydrated and eat well, preferably more vegetables and fruits.
  • Modify the intensity of the exercise till you get adjusted to the heat and rising temperatures.

Sports To Indulge In
Rising temperature (above 37° C) is dangerous for sustained outdoor activity. Make the most of the season by turning your tired indoor fitness routine into creative outdoor workouts wherever you live or on vacation. Some recommended exercise routines for summer include:
  • Swimming: An ideal and funfilled summer workout, which also works as an excellent stress-buster.
  • In-house aerobics: A beautiful blend of music and movements that make you go tapping, turning, twisting and leave you on a high for more, is what inhouse aerobic sessions are all about.
  • Aqua aerobics: Switch to a cool, pain-free and funfilled water workout, creating a significant degree of weightlessness and allowing you to perform the movements with ease.
  • Walk or jog at home: Plug in your iPod to your home speakers, turn up the volume and walk or jog in place until you reach your goal. If you have children or pets, include them in your workout. You may also consider trying a home walking video to keep you from getting bored.
  • Indoor yoga: An excellent way to stay cool and enhance flexibility, Yoga can give you all the energy to attend to daily chores with ease and comfort.
  • Recreational activities: Ten to twenty minutes of gardening, laundry or keeping your kids’ toys away can be a good summer workout.
Dinaz Vervatwala is Founder & MD Dinaz’s Fitness Studio, Hyderabad.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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