Summer brings with it scorching heat and plays spoilsport to exercise plans. Those who love to exercise outdoors, are a little reluctant to carry on with their routine because of the rising temperatures that drains them of all their energy. But they need not worry as there are a few smart ways to beat the heat and keep fit.

The much-loved activity, which burns those extra calories, that too without a drop of sweat, is swimming. It helps you stay cool despite the heat while keeping fit in the process.

“Swimming helps you burn more calories in a shorter span of time with lesser physical exertion and strain on the body. Just spending 20 minutes swimming helps you lose the same amount of calories that you would lose by spending an hour running in the ground,” said N. Saravanan, a swimming coach with more than 20 years of experience.

It is an activity that helps in achieving overall fitness as it is a workout for all the muscle groups. “Swimming is an activity that helps in improving the vital capacity and breathing mechanism in a person, thereby proving to be beneficial. Moreover, it is a life skill which is useful at times of danger. We read so many instances of youth drowning in the Cauvery. That wouldn’t have happened if they knew some basics of swimming,” says Mr. Saravanan, who works in Campion Anlgo-Indian Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi.

The cooling effect of water is an added advantage.

Next in line is yoga. It has increasingly gained prominence in the recent years for its beneficial effect on the body as well as mind.

Yoga is another form of exercise that is done when the day is young. It helps in reducing body weight and also achieving stability of the mind, according to N.S. Sivakumar, yoga instructor with 28 years of experience.

Regular practice of yoga helps you gain confidence and reduce stress and anxiety. “It is essential that you learn yoga under the guidance a qualified instructor, rather than from books or the internet,” says Mr. Sivakumar, who is the sports director at Urumu Dhanalakshmi College.

“For the summer, the ideal yoga moves that one can do are the pranayama and the surya namaskar. While pranayama helps you achieve calmness of mind and increases lung capacity; surya namaskar is a total fitness regimen that helps in improving strength and coordination and also provides flexibility,” he says.

For the conventional exercise lover, gym is the best option. “Exercising in the gym under the guidance of a personal trainer while following a nutritious diet, helps you achieve scientific weight loss,” said R.Thenmozhi, manager, Pink, women’s fitness studio, Thillai Nagar.

“With the searing summer heat in Tiruchi, outdoor exercise is difficult. Moreover, depending on the fitness goal, personal trainers and nutritionists can guide you in a systematic manner,” she adds. “We also provide other group classes such as aerobics, yoga and zumba dance. It is a competitive and enjoyable way to keep fit,” she says.

An air conditioned gym, with the latest music playing in the background, various fitness equipment and your peer group to motivate you is great way to keep the extra weight away.

Finally, whatever way you choose to stay fit, make sure that you stay hydrated. “During summer you must consume a large amount of fluids such as water, buttermilk, tender coconut water, green tea, and lemon juice. Eating fruits with high water content such as musk melons, watermelons and oranges is a good option,” said M. Shamim, senior nutritionist, Pink.