Fitness goes for a toss amidst lockdown

COVID-19 Health National

As the lockdown has confined people to their homes and given rise to a sedentary lifestyle, their fitness levels have been affected

Aman Bhardwaj

Citizens who regularly hit the gym or exercise actively to keep fit have been affected by the lockdown.

Rahul Singh, an accountant in Chakulia, Jharkhand, said: “My weight has increased by 2 kg since the lockdown came into effect. I used to go to the gym every day, but now I am unable to do so. Earlier, I used to work out at home, but my company calls me any time to work on something or the other. It gets difficult to wake up early because I work late at night.”

Abhay Mohanty, a 60-year-old businessman, said: “I am a diabetes patient who has a high risk of heart attack. My doctor asked me to walk daily in the morning and the evening to control my sugar level. But due to the coronavirus crisis, the government has asked old people to stay home. It is not wrong, but I am not able to go out for my walks which has caused my blood pressure and sugar level to increase. The extended lockdown till May 3 is problematic for me. Though I eat normal food, without exercise, my sugar level is shooting up.”

Bhavna Sharma, a 21-year-old student, shared: “I am bored staying home. I eat when I am bored. I don’t worry about my weight because I have nothing else to do except to play online games. I play every possible game on my phone, like PUBG and Ludo. My weight has increased significantly. I don’t want to check it as I will feel bad about it.” 

The lockdown has taken a heavy toll on the fitness industry. Fitness trainers have started live training channels through YouTube, Instagram and other social media. Yoga trainers have also started holding online yoga classes.

Kush Rathore, a fitness trainer, said: “Due to the lockdown, people are unable to get out of their houses. So most trainers have started online fitness classes. They are also suggesting tips to control weight.

“We have different programs for different groups of people. For people aged between 50 and 60, we suggest a different exercise routine to control blood pressure and diabetes,” he added.

Children and young adults who had an active lifestyle are now playing games on mobiles, computers and Playstations.

Dr A C Jha, a medical practitioner in Chakulia, explained the importance of physical exercise. “Exercise and workout is very important for people who are suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and heart conditions. Since everyone is home due to the lockdown, we suggest they take care of their diet and not eat too much at a time. People should try to do some exercise once a day and drink more water.”A report said that according to a study published in the journal Obesity Analysis, the risk of depression rises with higher weight. Around two-thirds of adults who were prescribed antidepressants were overweight and obese in the UK. Several other studies have also said that an increase in weight can lead to depression. According to the International Diabetes Federation, India, with 77 million adults having diabetes, is among the top 10 nations with diabetics.


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