Working out in the open spells freshness. With so many options, take the hint.

When you are young and energetic there is no way one can be confined to the four walls of a home when there is so much to explore and experience out of these confines. I cannot last more than twenty hours indoors. I have to step out at least to the closest super markets. There is something about the outdoors that keeps me alive and kicking! Is it the dose of oxygen and vitamin D? There is great news about today's people… You. You are much more aware of your bodies and are open to different ways of keeping yourselves fit and healthy. We keep reading and hearing about the benefits and safety of working out in the sterile conditions of Gyms and Health clubs. But there is a certain thrill in the outdoors which is unbeatable.

This is a personal perspective of a city I love “Namma Chennai.” I love everything about it... The sultry weather, the bright sun shining almost through the year and the unmistakable warmth of a Chennaite... pun intended. There are plenty of activities one can look at outdoors to suit you. Any activity that you love doing is most likely the one you will adhere to. But my all time favourite four outdoor activities may be termed “regular” or “pedestrian”. But they work and work big time.

Along the coast

Cycling is not only an excellent cardio vascular exercise but is also a great way to explore the different locations in your city. While jogging targets the hamstrings, cycling uses your quadriceps too. Bless the person who has formed groups of cyclists who wake up on Sunday mornings fully equipped and ready to bicycle on the beautiful stretches of ECR. Starting mostly from the tollgate one can find bunches of vibrant young cyclists having fun on the stretch. Nothing stops them reaching Mahabalipuram or beyond.

@ ECR and other highway stretches.

Equipment: a bike, a safety helmet, padded seats and the sense of adventure.


Time for a splash

Swimming is the best exercise that works out most parts of the body, and is even perfect for those with challenged joints. The water is always fun and you come out refreshed. The best thing about our weather is that one can swim any time of the year. Summer, winter or High tide! Group exercises like aqua aerobics set to the latest music makes working out even more fun. Most hotels in the city have good clean pools which satisfies your pocket. The marina pool offers a workout at almost no cost.

@ Pools in your area or at clubs

Equipment: swimsuit, sun screen, cap and may be Goggles. One should love water though.


Go green

Old fashioned, yes, but one of the best and safest ways of exercise. Easy on the joints may not burn as many calories as jogging but great for your heart, diabetics and high blood pressure. Keeps your weight down and almost anyone can do it. Chennai has a number of parks, almost every neighbourhood boasts about it. Glad to say we have a pro active Corporation.

@ Semmozhi, Theosophical Society and parks in your area.

Equipment: Good pair of shoes and motivation.


Sun, sand and sea

Let me link these activities to the locations in our city that all of us identify with. My all time favourite is the beach. Jogging on the beach on the soft sands of Marina or the Elliot's, gazing at the lovely expanse of the blue! All your insignificant worries vanish in a flash, the body and your mind get a workout, try it. If you love hanging out with your friends volley ball on the beach with your fun loving buddies is a great way to burn calories and to get a dose of bonding and fun. In fact one can also practise yoga one the beach. The cool water in front of you and the sand beneath your feet can both be therapeutic and work wonders. Boot camps are new fitness options they are great ways of breaking the monotony in exercise. The structured workouts with a good trainer or instructor will help you to challenge yourself constantly and make you reach your goals faster.

@ Elliots, Marina

Equipment: One doesn't need anything except a good pair of shoes and a steely resolve.


At WorkSeptember 24, 2010