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Sweat Story

Friday, April 08, 2016

Summer is here, and that means it’s the best time of the year to skip workouts and take afternoon siestas, right? Pooja Salvi tells you why that lazy lifestyle choice may not be the best one for you, and explains how to be careful about your health this season

It’s easy to get lazy and skip a workout or two — after all, you’ve been so consistent with your regime through the month. But, what happens when instead of missing out on one or two workouts, you simply give up, have a snack on the couch and take a nap? This is exactly the kind of nightmare the summer brings with the sweltering heat — we know, we thought that was our biggest problem too! The thing is, summer can zap you of all your energy, so working out and focusing on a balanced diet is the last thing you want to do. You want to indulge in comfort foods, binge-watch your favourite shows, eat a tub of ice cream and take long naps to revive yourself. And, while we completely understand that you cannot expect to stay healthy off the exploits of such a spoilt, lazy lifestyle, without breaching the subject of diets (because that’s a different ball game altogether), we’re helping you make the season a better one by telling you how you can keep yourself fit and healthy. Read on to find out more.

We wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to skip your workout completely in the sweltering heat. However, we don’t recommend it one bit. If your regular workout begins to get boring, we suggest taking it up a notch and going outside to exercise. Pick an outdoor activity that you won’t get bored with. Go cycling, swimming, on a hike and take walks. If you do these with your family, it will make for a great bonding activity too!

Floss regularly
Your dental concerns aren’t the most important to you — you don’t pay any attention to them unless you have a severe pain in your gum. But, flossing daily reduces oral bacteria and will help you improve overall body health. If you keep bacteria low, your body has more resources to fight any other bacteria elsewhere, which is what you need most during summer!

Be cool
It’s easy to ignore the needs of your body and only drink water when you’re thirsty. But, focus on a better schedule. Carry water with you at all times during the summer. Remember to stay hydrated, because you are also going to sweat out a lot of the liquids that you drink.

Skip the bar
Alcohol is great social fuel, but you may need to cut down on it during the summer. Skip your usual hard drinks and choose a light, chilled mild alcoholic beverage, if you must. Pick a glass or two of sangria or a cold, light beer — they are refreshing, but be careful because alcohol will leave you dehydrated. When consumed in moderation, alcohol helps you protect against heart disease!

Sleep well
Sounds good when all you want to do summer is sleep. But, you should be extra careful not to mess up your schedule by staying up late. This will make you feel low on energy and exhausted the next day (making you crave siestas and comfort foods — it’s a vicious cycle!). Make sure you maintain a good sleep schedule — go to bed at more or less the same time and wake up at a decent time instead of sleeping in till noon. Also, don’t have an alcoholic drink three hours before going to bed. It is also a good idea to completely skip your afternoon naps.

Drink right
Apart from drinking a healthy amount of water and avoiding alcohol, there are other ways to stay healthy and refreshed this summer. Pick tea instead of coffee — it is more hydrating. Coffee dehydrates you by pulling water out of your blood cells. You can also pick flavoured fruit teas if you think  regular black tea is boring.

Breathing in and out — that’s the best way to deal with the heat. Before going to bed, sit cross-legged and simply focus on your breathing. You can also try breathing in through your left nostril and exhaling through your right — it will calm you down and give you a relaxed night. Meditating outdoors is also a good option.

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