It is said that in order for us to be the best possible version of ourselves, we must be physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.
While mental health can be ensured by jogging your brain by performing activities such as reading the newspaper, playing sudoku, solving mathematical and analytical problems, emotional health depends crucially on our relationships - with ourselves as well as other important people in our lives.
Though the isolation because of the coronavirus, along with familial support, has given optimum conditions to improve on mental and emotional health, the possibility of ensuring physical fitness has shrunk for many.
Before the lockdown period, everyone - from toddlers to the elderly - enjoyed their time outdoors to play or take a walk, among other things. Due to the unfortunate circumstances, however, neither teenagers are able to go out in the evenings to play community sport, nor are the elderly able to continue with their morning or evening walks.
The lack of physical activity is resulting in a wide range of problems. Aggravated petulancy among children, increased restlessness, boredom, increased screen time and lethargy have become common.
On the one hand, teenagers experience the wrath of their mothers, from whom the evening leisurely period of peace has been taken away. On the other, some adults and elderly either spend their hours being apprehensive about developing paunches, or excitedly celebrate freedom from physical exercise.
A reminder: both situations are undesirable and adverse in their own ways. For teens and mothers, it means more of seeing each others’ faces, and for the elderly, a failing sense of purpose.
Since this is the time of rediscovery, we must find creative ways of doing some physical activity or the other every day. Empirical evidence has shown exercise releases happy hormones called dopamine or endorphins, which are much needed in this scenario. Moreover, it is another way to keep oneself occupied and productive during the day.
New methods of exercise can be influenced by one’s unique circumstances. For parents with toddlers, walking with babies in your hand in the house is considered good exercise. Feeling more adventurous? Try squats, only with babies instead of weights! Use things lying around the house such as a bag of atta, heavy books or foot stools to meet the requirements of weight training.
For teenagers, we sure have a ball or two lying around the house. Use this time to sharpen your individual skills, whether it involves dribbling, shadow practice of cricket strokes, or taking aim. Or return to the old (but gold) ways of exercise by playing Catch-Catch or Chor-Police. Involve the family to make it more interactive and fun.
If we are all determined to learn something new or enhance our existing skills, nothing can stop us, for where there is a will, there is a way. It is a bitter truth, but if we come out of this lockdown having nothing new to showcase, no new sharpened skills or more importantly, not holistically fitter, the conclusion that can be drawn is that it’s not that we didn’t have time, it is just that we didn’t have the determination or discipline for it.