A change in seasons is here, from the dry to the wet, and that means a change of gear too. There’s no way your winter or summer workout gear is going to serve you well during the monsoon showers. And even if you do your workouts indoors, the extra moisture and humidity in the air would force you to pick up a few things that you didn’t use before. Here’s what you are likely to need:
Parka: First things first, let’s cover up and stay dry. Why? Because in India we are taught from a very young age that if we get wet, we get sick. Not getting sick is a good enough reason to justify buying a rain jacket this monsoon, if you are the outdoorsy types. And the rain jacket is not only useful for running or cycling but also keeps you dry on your way to the gym for fitness studio.
While windcheaters and rain coats are options as well, the raincoats are too heavy and poorly ventilated, and the windcheaters don’t really keep the water out, which defeats the purpose, really. There are so many options out there that you would be spoiled for choice but my picks are the Decathlon waterproof hiking jacket and Uniqlo’s pocketable parkas from the Marni collection.
At Decathlon, women’s, men’s and even kids’ waterproof hiking jackets start at ₹599 but their most popular and successful designs start at ₹899. Uniqlo Marni collection parkas are excellent as well and I love them for the bold and colourful designs. Nothing like a dash of colour to brighten grey and wet days. Uniqlo has deployed a unisex design for these parkas and they start at ₹2,990.
Luna Sandals: Come monsoon, you know just how irritating (and smelly) wet shoes get. And the most dangerous thing during the monsoons is a pair of shoes without proper grip. Forget hikes, shoes with poor grip would make even walking around the slick roads treacherous. Luna Sandals have single handedly solved all these problems.
They are not closed, so they let your feet breathe and don’t let water or foul smell accumulate. Plus they have excellent grip, especially the Oso Flaco and Leadville Trail models. From hiking to running to lifting weights, these sandals are functional and sturdy, providing great protection to your feet while ensuring plenty of grip. In India, plenty of barefoot runners, including Milind Soman, have been spotted using the Lunas for many years now. Luna Sandals start at about ₹7,000.
Garmin 255 and 955: Apart from those who live in cities, such as Pune and Bengaluru, that are blessed with good weather throughout the year, most runners and triathletes start their serious training for races with the advent of monsoon. This monsoon they can pick Garmin’s latest GPS watch offerings which come loaded with improvements and features.
Garmin have upgraded their most popular Forerunner 200 series and launched the 255 with and without music in two sizes. They have also upgraded the triathlete-targeted top-of-the-line Forerunner 900 series with the 955 and 955 Solar. The 955 range comes with a touch screen, music feature and an excellent battery life of up to 20 days on the 955 Solar and 14 days on the regular model.
Behind the scenes, the company has worked hard on its algorithms as well. This means the run tracker is a lot more useful, and gives you a lot more info about your workout, recovery, sleep, heart rate and your overall health. The Forerunner 255 watches start at ₹37,490 and the Forerunner 955 watches start at ₹53,490.
Lifting chalk: With humidity set to be fairly high for the next few months, you need to buy some lifting chalk. This helps you keep a good grip on everything from a pull-up bar to dumbbells and barbells. The lifting chalk not only rules out moist hands but also ensures that you never lose your grip in the middle of a pull-up or while lifting weights. The best part, lifting chalk starts at a couple of hundred rupees.
Fast & Up hydration: Because it is much more pleasant and cooler now, we might forget to hydrate properly. The truth is that we continue to lose plenty of fluids every time we workout, whatever the weather conditions. There is never a time when you don’t need to replenish salts and fluids. Among the Indian companies, Fast & Up has consistently offered a wide range of good products targeted at people with active lives. In the case of a sports nutrition company, it helps when you have serious runners and athletes in your leadership team like Fast & Up do. They have proteins, creatine, multivitamins, ORS, sports hydration, wellness and other products on the market today. I have only tried their Reload, Activate and Recover and recommend them.
Shrenik Avlani is a writer and editor and the co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.