Add the cool factor in fitness regimes

In extreme weather conditions exercise smarter, not harder, for a wholesome, safe and an exhilarating workout

May 22, 2015 08:57 pm | Updated 08:57 pm IST

An early morning jogger. Photo: K.R. Deepak

An early morning jogger. Photo: K.R. Deepak

The blazing sun, sweaty days and the oscillation between extreme weather patterns can make even the most dedicated fitness freaks a bit edgy.

As we enter the transition phase from scorching hot days of summer to monsoons, it’s essential to tweak fitness and nutrition regimes to suit the changing weather patterns. Fitness experts and nutritionists suggest adding the ‘cool’ factor back into your workout routine with some tricks.

According to fitness trainer Sangita Das Vishwanathan, workouts in the balmy warm weather are actually good in escalating performance levels of cardio workouts like running and cycling.

“Endurance is also driven to its limits by training in warm weather, which even shadows the high altitude trainings. In extreme weather, exercise smarter, not harder, for a wholesome, safe and an exhilarating workout,” she advises. Sangita gives her tips on working out safely and happily in these sweltering times.

Fitness tips

To acclimatize to the heat, gently warm up for six minutes for at least a week before starting your regime.

Hydration - Drink 240 ml of water 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise plus 300 ml additional water every 30 minutes of exercise to help prevent dehydration. If your exercise session exceeds an hour and only if your bodily electrolytes has been sapped, have a sports drink. For most individuals, water is an acceptable fluid replacement else you may end up adding unnecessary sodium and calories to your daily diet. DIY lemon in water with Himalayan pink salt has more than 80 trace minerals and is a good alternative.

Clothing - 'Dry fit' tees are cool and dry, making workouts an enjoyable experience

Early morning and post dusk are good times to workout.

Pilates is a gentle, calmer and low impact way of sculpting the entire body without the usual huffing and panting.

During rainy weather, always check out the weather forecast so that you are prepared with non-skid shoes and rain protection to continue to enjoy walks and runs seamlessly.

For harsh weathers - Workouts to consider are water aerobics, aqua sculpting physiotherapy and other water sports like canoeing and rowing, which will not only build upper body strength and tone it, but being near a water body will make it a novel satiating experience in the heat. Also, power walking barefooted in cool green grass is touted to be therapeutic from the house of Ayurveda, bringing you weight loss and fitness as it balances energy points on the sole of the feet.

Handy tip - A very handy tip is to run a wet towel over forearm which will help reduce body temperature. Try bringing your workout indoors, as much as you can. Even taking a power walk inside a big mall may count!

Vital clues - Always listen to your body for vital cues like feeling dizzy or nauseous. Rest a while or find a shade as the situation demands and sip water.

Contact Sangita at

Nutrition factor

One of the thumb rules in extreme climatic conditions is to take care of hydration part. Apart from adequate water intake, nutritionist Sangeeta Khanna says that cooling fruit smoothies work really well in such conditions such as watermelon, mint and lime smoothie, mango yogurt smoothie or pineapple smoothie. Lemonades and iced teas should be made fresh so the desired health benefits of cooling down the body and replenishing electrolytes is achieved without the extra load of preservatives included in the packaged products.

“One should prefer light meals with more water content like khichdi, cold soups, vegetable mash, salads. While having protein meals, one should supplement it with loads of fresh greens salads and some mashed or steamed vegetables,” she says.

As the rains approach, she suggests to start including more ginger, turmeric, pepper, chilly and pineapple in food to get the much required immunity boost and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Aloe Vera pulp should be used to cool down the skin when one is back from sun or after intense workout. Applying it directly on skin and scalp helps get rid of summer boils and prickly heat, also heals sun burns.

Mangoes must be a part of the diet as they are great anti inflammatory and immune boosters. “Just soak naturally ripened mangoes for a couple of hours before eating so the acidic sap just below the stalk gets denatured and the mangoes become cooling,” suggests Khanna.

Mail her at sangeetaamkhanna@

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