Published on August 30th, 20130
Work-outs made simpler
This is the season of unpredictable, heavy showers. So what do you do when your outdoor exercise plans fall through?
by Deepa Mistry
The weather may be rainy, gloomy, dull and it’s always humid, since the rains have become so unpredictable. This has affected so many of our outdoor activities like shopping, exercising or even going to the gym. Rains have disturbed our regular exercise routines on many occasions, but don’t let this season deter you from a great workout even if it means you have to do it at home.
– It is a good idea to invest in a skipping rope. If you are used to going out for an early morning walk or jog, a sudden shower can delay or derail your plan. But stick to your daily cardio kick: warm up with a few stretching exercises, followed by jogging on the spot. Once you’re done stretching your legs and arms, skip for 15 minutes. This provides the same or more of the benefits of a jog, and it will tone your leg and arm muscles.
– Get a pair of dumbbells, as they help burn fat when used in various exercises. Do curls, squats, lunges, rows and kickbacks using dumbbells for an effective workout.
– Also try push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups and chair dips. These will tone your arms, shoulders and ab muscles.
– If you are not a gym person, sit-ups, waist bends, knee bends, and calf exercises are a great way to flex your muscles. Pick a spot in your home that lets you hold on to a support and also provides ample space to spread yourself.
– Dancing is the best workout for everybody. Just turn up the volume and dance like no one’s watching. This makes the body flexible and is the most enjoyable workout.
– If you’ve been thinking of investing in a treadmill this maybe the best time to buy it, as it will last you a long time and you don’t need to go out for your walk or run.
– Yoga is the most recommended indoor exercise. Practice simple asanas to keep yourself fit. Yoga also helps reduce respiratory problems that are very common during the monsoon season. Encourage your children and family to practice pranayam daily, as it increases concentration and reduces stress levels. Besides, yoga is very beneficial for pregnant women and heart patients. Suryanamaskar should be practised atleast five times daily, early in the morning.
– Don’t be a couch potato; ditch the television and opt for cleaning. It has been found that sweeping and mopping the floors provides as much exercise as 10 minutes on the treadmill. Even tidying up your room, making the beds, cleaning the ceiling fan are activities that burn calories and tone your arms and shoulders.
– Exercise balls are another useful tool for home exercise programmes. They may be used for balance and proprioceptive training, core strengthening, and as a bench to perform your bench press on. They come in different sizes and will often include an entire workout programme for you to follow, so choose one based on your requirements.
– Skip the lift and take the stairs. This is a very effective for fat burn. On the days that you can’t go out and exercise, walk up and down the stairs at a constant speed for a good workout.
– YouTube has several exercise videos to choose from, and several TV channels offer fitness programmes. Choose from a traditional or step aerobic workout, belly dancing, yoga and other formats. These programmes have a host who explains the exercises and how to do them. Alternatively, invest in a fitness trainer who will design an indoor workout for you.
(Pictures courtesy alyssaeleven.wordpress.com, houstonblackbelt.com, www.goodhousekeeping.com)