A man quietly feeds pigeons. Health workers at a hospital offer their prayers to Mother Mary at the nearby church before they start their day’s work. The lake gleams when hit by the first rays of sunlight. The sights during an early morning run are wonderful. They remind us of our Creator and that we are his wonderful creations.
I have tried to keep fit this Corona season by walking and running every day, at 5:30 am, just after the curfew ends. I have found that this is the best, peaceful time to step out – masked of course – and maintain social distancing with other fellow walkers/joggers.
Some things that I learned during the lockdown:
I have lost weight during this pandemic season. To be precise, 8 kilos so far. How has this been possible? Just by making few lifestyle changes necessitated by the lockdown.
Move more: As paradoxical as it sounds, I have been moving more since the lockdown was announced. Moving as in, actually getting on my feet and running (or walking) to get essential supplies . My earlier way of doing things was to ask my driver to procure anything I needed or to go by car. With the police prohibiting car transport in general , it was just easier to walk/run everywhere.
Lift more: The almost similar effects of lifting weights in a gym can be felt while carrying bags of supplies home! With the added paraphernalia of a mask, one seems to exert more with every step, and sometimes my glasses would get completely fogged up too. But all that lifting helped burned calories.
Eat less: Lockdown also meant eating less junk food, and eating only home-cooked food. We used fresh ingredients procured by ourselves and ate only food that we cooked. That has kept our dining table junk food free during this entire season.
Drink less: My earlier lifestyle pre-lockdown revolved around endless cups of coffee in the office and during meetings. Often these beverages were accompanied by afternoon snacks. Now this has been cut down to a single cup of coffee at the beginning of the day.
Stress less: Not having to commute to and from work, brought down my stress levels. That was one of the factors that caused me to eat more, during pre-lockdown days.
All these things put together is what helped me to lose weight during this lockdown. I hope to keep up most of these, if not all, of these practices even when the lockdown gets lifted. I feel much fresher, more energetic and alert than before. I can take packed lunches from home to work, continue to move more, and stress less.
As the lockdown has partially lifted, those of us like me who could work from home, have started a regular work routine. I have maintained the practise of squeezing in my morning walk/run/walk routine before the work day starts, and only eating food cooked at home (my lunch is packed by my better half) This helps me get in a minimum of 10k steps before the day begins and I can add to this during the day.
Most of the practises above I have continued to follow, although sometimes I feel that my daily coffee consumption is more than it should be! My weight loss is now 10 kilos down from the pre-lockdown levels and I feel good at the end of each workout session, ready to face the day. I have gotten better fitting clothes too, helped by my family!
The Bible in 1 Corinthians 6:19 calls our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit. We need to take care of our bodies, given to us by God, every day. It is our responsibility. Thirty minutes of exercise is necessary to keep one in good health. Pick whatever activity you can do (under the current circumstances, walking, running, cycling and some club sports activities such as golf, tennis and badminton are permitted) Whatever you have access to and whatever time you are able to spare, please do exercise out in the open air preferably and this will help you build up your physical immunity, which is necessary. Whatever you do , please take care to follow the Government regulations currently in force at all times. Happy exercising and God bless!
By Tom Thomas Maliekel
Tom is an Indian entrepreneur with interests in technology, manufacturing, reading, scribbling, running, faith and family (not necessarily in that order) He was greatly inspired on his journey of fitness by the amazing transformation that the Snehagram Community – www.snehagram.org – has made in the lives of HIV infected youngsters, by shaping them up into some of the most outstanding amateur runners in India.