Many countries are now under lockdown. This measure is crucial to minimise the spread of COVID 19 but this should not let deter us from keeping ourself mentally and physically active and healthy. Staying active during this difficult time is important. Being physically active helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol and can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Most importantly, it helps to keep immune system working effectively as it flushes bacteria from the lungs and airways, increases white blood cell circulation and raises body temperature, all of which help the body fight infection. It is a great way to ward off some of the psychological issues associated with being cooped up for an extended time. Being active helps lower stress hormones such as cortisol and promotes the release of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins.

Since it’s absolutely essential to maintain social distancing in the current scenario, workout routines in gyms and parks have surely gone for a toss. However, as it is also imperative to engage in some form of physical fitness to keep your body and mind active, many people are devising novel methods to work from home and work out from home too. A series of apps and online classes are being held to keep the enthusiasts on their toes and sweat it out.

There are ways you can stay active and continue your workout routine – and some of these require very little or no equipment. If you are lucky enough to own an exercise bike or treadmill, then you will already be accustomed to this in-house way of keeping fit. But if these are not possible then any activity that raises the heart rate is good for cardiovascular health. Try walking briskly around the house or up and down the stairs. And stand or walk around when you’re on the phone, rather than sitting down, like an old idea ad, walk and talk. Dancing is also a great way to keep active, especially with children, so putting on some music for 10 to 15 minutes, two or three times each day can really contribute to the daily exercise quota. Make a family member your workout buddy to make it less boring.

Alternatively, you could dig out that old skipping rope from the garage, re-engage with those long-forgotten fitness and Yoga. Resistance exercises can also help strengthen your muscles and improve your mobility. Some of these exercises can be performed using weights or resistance bands, but if you don’t have access to them, that shouldn’t stop you. Squats or sit-to-stands from a sturdy chair, push-ups against a wall or the kitchen counter, and lunges or single-leg step-ups on stairs are all great for those new to these kinds of exercises. And if nothing works out, just do the household chores, that will make you burn the extra calorie. Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs is constantly endorsing the Fit India Movement and having various sportspersons inspire us to continue some form of exercise. Even Hon’ble PM, Narendra Modi highlighted the importance of Yoga and meditation during this time of lockdown.

Throughout this time of uncertainty, something we can take control of is our health and wellbeing. So, whatever your situation, try to keep active, eat healthily and stay hydrated.