The pandemic may persist, but fitness enthusiasts are going the extra mile to stay healthy


When the world faced the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic early last year, we didn’t know what to expect. As governments rushed headfirst into shutting down countries and states, some cooked, others cleaned, others made bread or coffee, while many adapted to working from home. But along with the good and the bad and all of the aforementioned things, we also encountered a predicament for everyone – our health was severely compromised. With gyms, outdoor activities, and literally all forms of interactive sports closed to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus, people had no choice but to stay locked up except for the occasional stretching of the arms and legs. minimum legs or walks possible in case we had a terrace. For the unlucky ones who did not have access to such open spaces, they had to stay locked inside the apartments.


It has affected our mental health in more ways than we could imagine. Ms. Rita Roy, a clinical psychologist based in Hyderabad and associated with Chetana Hospital, explains how. “Mind and body work in tandem, we call it mind-body dualism. If our mind is stressed, it is sure to have an impact on the body and in the long run be fatal too. In many cases, we have seen psychosomatic illnesses such as arthritis, heart problems occur in patients due to the handling of stress, and the pandemic has also been accompanied by other problems. “

Ms Roy’s remarks are accentuated by the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) explained in its findings how the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted and, in many places, hampered essential mental health services in over 90 percent of the world’s countries, while the demand for mental health is increasing.


As 2020 gave way to 2021, a second deadly wave followed and it caused thousands of deaths every day, but in the midst of the inevitable, a silver lining that was also seen was the way people , most of them, decided to take the situation in their tracks. With frequent restrictions placed on physical health centers, fitness awareness has seen a revolutionary level of engagement on the part of many. And much of it was durable and easily accessible. One of the most popular forms of workout adopted by many was Zumba, involving elements of dance and aerobic exercise with music, mostly Latin, although it is now known to combine any type of upbeat music. to accompany fitness regimes.

The Zumba Instructor Network (ZIN) instructors have become a huge hit among fitness enthusiasts and during the pandemic this has helped with training many of their videos are even available online although training with a ZIN trainer was ideally encouraged.


Sonali Dutta, who teaches online and offline classes in Calcutta, says: “Fitness isn’t all about getting a fitter body to wear that desirable dress or get in shape before your big day – Covid-19 pushed people more toward health in a holistic way. In addition to physical well-being, after this world-changing pandemic, people are focusing more on their emotional and mental happiness. Due to the foreclosure, people ended up staying inside houses resulting in a sedentary lifestyle. “

Sonali says she saw a positive attitude in most people as the pandemic lingered. “People are now focusing more on boosting their overall health and here we can see a big increase in trends in virtual training. This pandemic has also increased the importance of cardiovascular health, where Zumba plays an important role in improving not only the physical but also the mental well-being of people, as everyone aims more to mix these two aspects of their health. general state of health. “

Sonali’s words are supported by Reshmi Dhole, who has experienced a dramatic change in her health, both physical and mental over the past year and more as she embraces Zumba as a form of exercise. “Being obese and a polycystic ovarian disease (PCO) patient losing weight was a challenge for me for a long time and when Covid-19 hit the lockdown and the work-from-home scenario ended up affecting my health even more. than ever. . “

“Along with a demanding career, the deterioration of my physical health was almost about to break me emotionally and otherwise. In a moment that literally saved my life, I stumbled across a particularly fun Zumba workout and after a year of training three times a week now, it has definitely helped me more than all. It definitely made my life better than before. “


Sonali believes that conscious efforts to stay in shape are here to stay. “One conclusion that most people have drawn from the past two years is that leading a healthy lifestyle is the only way for us to have any chance of fighting such potentially deadly viruses, of course with medical treatment according to the doctors. needs and at any other age. – related aspects aside. So, from what I believe, the idea of ​​a fitter, healthier body and mind will not go away so easily when the pandemic does eventually go away. “

Reshmi echoes Sonali’s feelings. “Almost everyone has started to prioritize healthy eating and a sustainable lifestyle and the reason is obvious they want immunity against this deadly virus. People now willingly take responsibility for staying healthy, in the truest sense of the word. “


For Rituparna Saha, the choice fell on the bicycle. The Kolkata-based IT professional had never ridden a bicycle before and she decided to change that amid the pandemic. “During the lockdown, as the restrictions started to ease a bit, I took that as a challenge. I had nowhere to go and I was just working from home and as such, partly out of boredom and also in an effort to stay in shape, I accepted. “

Rituparna also strongly believes that the fitness whirlwind is not going to end anytime soon. “The fact that there is a virus circulating that could develop into deadly or more contagious forms is probably one of the biggest fears that lead people to aim for better overall health so that even though we contract the virus, it is not able to affect us badly. “

Rituparna also told a heartwarming story when she acquired a young friend who also rides a bike with her. “A few months ago, I had already learned horseback riding at the time when this woman, who collects garbage in our neighborhood, approached me to ask me to learn how to horseback riding as well. 11 year old girl. Pinky rides with me these days too. ”

Maintaining physical health is paramount, but Ms. Roy also emphasizes the need to de-stress so that body and mind are pretending to be able to do so. “Deep breathing, relaxation exercises help to rhythm our breathing. We must also tell them not to “catastrophize” a situation and to assume the worst case scenario. Also, get your daily dose of restful sleep, ”concludes Dr. Roy.

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