Beat the heat and stay fit

Teens working out with fitness trainer Prem Mehta

In our fourth interaction with fitness trainer, Prem Mehta, we looked at outdoor training, a great alternative to indoor exercise. In this issue we’ll look at training when it’s hot outside.

TTT: Hi Prem. Good to see you again. What aspect of fitness training are we going to talk about this month?
PM: Today I thought we could concentrate on exercises which teenagers could indulge in when it’s hot and humid outside. In such weather, young people are not naturally drawn towards exercise of any kind. Yet, it is possible to keep fit and physically active without damaging your body. If a few basic precautions are observed, they can still have a good outdoors fitness regime that won’t leave them feeling exhausted and dehydrated.

TTT: What sports or fitness routines can teenagers indulge in safely?
PM: It is not so much a point about which routines they can indulge in but how they indulge in such routines. Any exercise will induce sweating and depletion of body salts at any time of the year; in the heat, the quantum you sweat increases tremendously. Again, it stands to reason that if you are exercising outdoors, you will sweat more than if you were exercising in an air-conditioned gym. Therefore, one needs to observe certain precautions and discipline while indulging in fitness activities in the heat.

For example, it is always better to exercise outdoors very early in the morning or in the evening. You can start your routine as early as 6 a.m. and ensure that your workout does not extend beyond 45 minutes at the most. You should under no condition be outside after 8 a.m. In the evening, it is best that you start your training after 5.30 or 6 p.m., once the sun has gone down substantially and it is cooler. Training outdoors in the afternoon is risky — with prolonged exposure to the sun, you run the risk of intense dehydration which in turn can result in headaches, reduced stamina and rapid depletion of salts which can cause you to faint or collapse.

The second precaution that one should take is ensuring proper hydration. You need to mandatorily sip water after every set of exercise or whenever you feel your mouth going dry during your workout. Along with water, you can also consume fresh juices. Avoid fizzy drinks and colas — they are very high in sugar and add nothing to your body. Instead of keeping you fit, they end up as excess weight in your body. The thumb rule is stick to plain water — soft drinks may taste better but they are harmful for your body.

Prem Mehta
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Prem Mehta

Prem Mehta is a fitness enthusiast and consultant. Over the last decade, he has given personalised training to over 200 individuals and continues to train clients for over 10 hours every day. He can be reached at