Summers and monsoons are seasons meant for sporting shorts, sarongs, flirty dresses and swimsuits to emerge from winter hibernation. As such, it is also the time when you need to work twice as harder to get back in shape. But when the heat and humidity arrive, how does one keep up with fitness routines? Thankfully, there are loads of ways to stay active and healthy, and most of them are a lot of fun. You can always mix and match more than one activity depending on the weather outside. Here's how to stay cool and fit -
Yoga is a perfect year-round activity; the only equipment you need is a fitness mat, which is available at all sports shops (you could even just get away with doing it on a wooden floor at home). You don't even usually need an instructor to do basic yoga; there is plenty of information on the internet and enough and more YouTube tutorials which go through the basics. Half an hour of yoga every alternate day will help to improve your strength and flexibility. To make it interesting, you can even do yoga outdoors in your local park or garden.
2. Flying yoga
Yoga is too passé? Then try anti-gravity yoga. It combines acrobatic art and anti-gravity asana, but it's also an accessible practice that can help lengthen and align your spine. Aerial yoga isn't just a fad anymore, it offers surprising physical benefits including spinal decompression, pain relief and ease in inversion poses.
3. Skipping Rope
We loved doing it as kids not realising how effective it is as a full-body cardiovascular workout. To get started, you'll need a good pair of trainers or even medium cushioned running shoes to absorb the impact in the balls of your feet and a simple jump rope available at any sports store. Before you skip, always start with a short warm-up and end it with a cool down. Aim for three 10-minute rope-jumping workouts every week.
Enjoy nature trails, cityscapes, or whatever else you have around you as you tone your legs, strengthen your core, and get your heart rate pumping. Biking is also easier on your joints as compared to running. Too much of an effort to find good trails and to wake up early? Try Spinning classes instead for a good cardio workout in a dance-club-like atmosphere. Spinning class is undeniably fun.
5. Indoor Rock climbing
Rock climbing increases stamina, strengthens one's back and core and builds upper body muscles. And not only that, the movement in climbing up often demands body awareness and problem-solving and helps in reducing stress. At indoor climbing gyms, beginners usually start with bouldering (climbing shorter walls without a rope or harness) and top roping (climbing with an instructor using a harness or rope) and that can be enough to get you through unless you get addicted of course.
While it looks like a lot of fun, Skating is also a great workout and you burn as many calories as any other aerobic exercise. Being a low impact activity, it's also easy on the joints. Skating under supervision will ensure safety and correct form.
It is one of the most effective total body workouts around. The water will keep you cool while you exercise. Head to your local pool or schools that open their swimming pools during summer vacations. Plenty of kicking and your body will get toned from head to toe! Can't swim? No problem, even walking at a constant pace inside water is a great way to workout. Pools in many parts of the country like Mumbai are open even during monsoons. Swimming in the rain has its own charm.
Whatever you do to stay fit during these months, remember to stay safe in the heat by:
- Sipping water through the day. Even after you've finished your activity, your body will be recovering. Keep the fluids and electrolytes coming.
- Wearing sunscreen. Reapply if necessary.
- Exercising early in the morning and late evenings.
- Exercising in short bursts, couple of times a day.
- Getting plenty of rest.
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