You don’t have to skip your fitness regime during the rainy season. Here are some exercise routines that you can follow indoors
So has the monsoon washed away your workout? Can’t head out for a walk, cycle around the neighbourhood, play tennis, get to your Aqua Aerobics class or get a good roller blading session anymore?
No sweat (pun intended)! There are plenty of other fitness activities you can engage in like gymming, spinning, aerobic classes, pilates, gyrotonics, yoga, trampoline workouts, slide training, dancing, playing badminton and many more.
What are the advantages of indoor workouts over outdoor workouts?
-Temperature control: You no longer have to put up with the sweltering heat, humidity, rain or cold. You can avoid the harmful rays of the sun.
-A clean, healthy environment! You don’t have to put up with the visual pollution, offensive gases and toxic fumes you’re subjected to on an outdoor workout in an urban environment.
-Ideal flooring: The worst floor surface you can workout on is cement concrete as this doesn’t absorb body impact at all. So body parts like the knees, back, shins and ankles are under a lot of pressure and may well get injured when working out on cement. The best flooring to workout on is wooden, with an air space under it. This absorbs two to three times a person’s body weight and therefore is very shock absorbent.
-Variety: You get a lot more variety of routines that you can engage in indoors than you can outdoors. This alleviates boredom and doesn’t let the body get immune to the same old routine.
Who can participate?
All populations can’t always participate. There are some exceptions. For instance, spinning is not recommended for those with heavy hips and thighs, as it heavily works on the muscles and therefore expands or hypertrophies them. It is naturally counterproductive to the exerciser.
Slide Training is not recommended for those having an active knee problem or an obesity problem. Though standards of what exactly is considered obese vary, if you are 18 kgs or more than your recommended weight according to most height-weight charts, for this purpose, consider it as obese. It’s best to get the guidance of a fitness professional about which activities are best for you.
Is any special equipment required for these routines?
For some, yes. A trampoline workout will involve a mini trampoline. A spinning class will require you to have an indoor bike. For a slide training class you’ll need a slide and sliding socks. A slide is a long, flat surface with rubber gradients on the ends which act as stoppers. As the very name suggests, the basic idea is to slide from one end to the other. Slide socks are worn over your shoes to make the feet conducive to sliding.
-Initially when starting up with any new activity, you will need to allow your body time to adapt to it.
-Break tasks down. Learn the leg or the arm work first and once you’re comfortable with that, add in the rest.
-Allow yourself to be a beginner. Take your time and work at your own pace. The class you’re in might be fancy stepping their way through with impressive choreography. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with their pace. Just do as much as you’re comfortable with, and leave the rest out. Add on bits and parts whenever you feel ready to take on more.
-If in a class format, it helps to keep an eye on your feet in the mirror. This will help you feel more stable, and create a feel and awareness of where exactly you are and where your equipment is placed, even when you aren’t looking directly to see.
-Keep a bottle of water or a sipper along with a pair of lightweights (for routines that allow for it) near you at all times. It’s very important to stay well hydrated in order to regulate body temperature and make sure that the fluid lost through sweat is replaced.
-Make sure you warm up and cool down adequately. Each of these segments should last for about four to eight minutes.
-Make sure all the muscles of the lower limbs are well stretched out at the end of your workout, or you may be stiff and sore the next day. Flexibility exercises allow the muscles in question to rid themselves of the waste matter of exercise, which includes excess blood, lactic acid and carbondioxide. If not done correctly, this is what causes pain, typically 24 to 48 hours post-exercise.
-Watch your pulse! Generally, in order to burn fat, you should keep your target heart range between 16 and 18 on a six-second count.
A balanced, healthy, low fat, low starch, low sugar, fibre and protein rich diet are very important.
(The writer has trained, taught and certified in America as a fitness professional by American Council on Exercise and International Dance Exercise Association. She founded Body Art, the Fitness Centre in 1992. For more information, log onto www.bodyart.in)