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Dancing In The Rain
Text by Alka Bhardwaj Ahuja and Illustration by Farzana Cooper
Published: Volume 14, Issue 4, July-August, 2006

What's a girl to do to stay in shape in the oh-so-romantic but impossible-to-get-out-and-just-do-it monsoon months? When even the heavens seem to be conspiring against you battling your bulge? Alka Bhardwaj Ahuja advises on how to keep those calories burning despite the rains

It's raining, it's pouring and if you'd really rather be snoring, just like the much maligned bus conductor, I don't blame you. Pounding the tar for your daily walk or run, loses a lot of its Nike-soft-focus lustre when you're actually sludging through remnants of the 14 cms of rain that folks down near Vaitarna are celebrating. Staying fit isn't as much fun when you're trying to swim your mandatory 25 laps in a blinding deluge because the weather bureau didn't see Thursday's downpour coming till early Friday morning. Toning your muscles slips down the priority list when your gym is on the other side of the traffic jam that is as much a part of the wet season as the bhuttawala with his roasted corn-on-the-cob smeared with chilli powder and lime. As if fighting fat wasn't bad enough, now you have to take on the elements too!

So what's a girl to do to stay in shape in these oh-so-romantic but impossible-to-get-out-and-just-do-it monsoon months? When even the heavens seem to be conspiring against you (or so it would appear) battling your bulge? And especially when everyone around you is succumbing to the pleasures of garam chai and crisp, hot pakodas and tempting you to indulge too?

If you've come back home all drenched and despondent from yet another rained-out walk, take heart. Wipe yourself dry, by all means, but don't throw in the towel just yet. I've yet to meet a room I couldn't turn into a gym and here's how you can do the same. All you really need is enough space to move around in (say, 6 feet by 6 feet), some fast music and loads of determination.

Change into your exercise gear, all the way down to your shoes - this is really important to get you in the mood to burn calories - plug in your favourite CD and just start walking in place. That's it, just step in time to the music. In-home walking, as it's called here in America, is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get in your 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day without getting an eyelash wet. Even when it goes under the guise of 'marching on the spot', as my PT teacher Mr Hodiwalla used to call it, it's still as effective as the sleekly packaged Leslie Sansone 'Walk Away The Pounds' programme that sells for around $15 on the Internet.

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