When you are at home, there are many ways to stay fit and being quarantined or having no access to gyms is never an excuse.Staying fit is a way of life and the recent lockdown and quarantine has shown us how we can exercise and follow a fitness regimen while at home. We speak to industry experts who share their opinion.
Fit @ Home
Despite staying at home people are making sure to make the most of their sedentary lifestyles to keep themselves fit, active and healthy. Most people have joined online fitness classes which help boost immunity while being indoors and workouts to perform while at home to ensure fitness. “Squats or sit-to-stands from a strong chair, push-ups against a wall or the kitchen counter, and doing lunges or single-leg step-ups on stairs are all exceptional even for the beginners who are new to these kinds of workouts. You could also put your tins of baked beans, rice bags and bottled water to good use. They can be great substitutes for dumbbell or, even if you tie them up in a carrier bag, you have an improvised kettlebell in hand,” explains Shalini Bhargava, Director at JG’S Fitness Centre. CureFit has been working on creating online classes through the cult.live section on the cure.fit app. Cult.Live has seen a huge jump in terms of people exercising on the platform on a daily basis. “There are multiple options to exercise on the cure.fit app. Cult.Live section has multiple training formats listed and people can choose to exercise using any of these formats such as Strength & Conditioning, HRX Workout, Dance Fitness, Boxing, Yoga and a lot of training sessions conducted by famous celebrities. There is also an on-demand library of workout videos ranging from strength, cardio, belly burn, Yoga and what not which can be used at any point of time depending upon everyone’s schedule,” says Rishab Telang, Fitness Expert, cure.fit
Body Weight Training
People are using props like chair, rope, dupattas for yoga at home and all this supports asanas as all you need is a yoga mat, and no equipment. “Surya Namaskar, Chandra Namaskar flows are being practised morning and evening. People are also using the skipping rope for cardio. We can also use the body weight itself in order to get in a great workout. Rotation of the wrists, ankles, arms come under the practice of Sukshma Vyayam or subtle exercises in Yoga which form the warm up. Along with this, one can also lie down on the back and make leg circles in air-this can work on your core muscles. Lie down on your stomach and lift your legs behind you and arms ahead to balance on your stomach- this helps in strengthening your back,” says Grand Master Akshar. Asad Hussain, Life Coach adds, “most people are resorting to calisthenics and using their own body weight to train themselves. There are numerous ways to train yourself like that. Online workouts have become very popular, where people can follow routines and protocols conducted by their instructors.” Online classes have also started on Zoom. “While the musical experience and barre that adds so much to the Physique 57 method is not quite as it is online as it is in the studio, the response for providing people with one of the most effective workouts in the world with our globally trained instructors has been amazing, especially with the Indian audience. People didn’t know they didn’t have to hurt to see results fast and that too, with no equipment,” says Mallika Parekh, M.S., M.P.H. – Founder & Director of AMP Fitness, LLP, Exclusive Licensee of Physique 57 in India.
People are working out with free weights like dumbbells, kettle bells, and free exercise regimes like spot jogging and doing skipping rope workouts. Certified Health Coach Nipa Asharam has designed various ‘high intense internal training (HIIT)’ workouts but also with yoga included in it and deep breathing techniques in the end. “This way we touch upon physical fitness with mental fitness. Our acute cortisol peaks when we do a high intense workout. This is good because it works for fat burning and muscle building. However, post workout since the cortisol is still high, we tend to overeat to balance it. If we add yoga and breathing, the cortisol automatically drops and we don’t need unnecessary food to make up for it.” Likewise, Folk Fitness routines are full body exercises inspired by 122 folk dances of India. “The campaign is called SAHAWO – Stay At Home And WorkOut. We are conducting free live batches with our master trainer three times a week (Tue-Thu-Fri-Sat) on Facebook and YouTube Page. Participants who join our complementary live batches are also connected with daily on our what app groups through which daily value adding activity and expert information is provided with the objective of creating super immunity,” says Aarti Pandey, Co-founder, Folk Fitness.
Fitness today, is an essential part of our lifestyles and people mostly do have some form of physical exercise activity as part of their daily routine. “We are finding that during this lockdown period, people have taken to workout routines like Bollyfit, Yoga, Aerobics, Strength training, Toning, and other fitness classes via ‘live’ streaming platforms. These classes work either via a paid subscription model or being offered complimentary during these lockdown days. The response rate has been very good and encouraging for those delivering these classes. People have been very proactive in responding in coming online to workout, even those who may have never worked out via live streaming,” says Reema Sarin, Founder BOLLYFIT & International Fitness Expert. Most of the fitness and wellness apps are focusing on promoting both physical and mental health as staying positive in the current situation is the key to healthy mind and body. Also, there are a lot of interactive activities initiated on social media for the audience to engage in challenges and throwbacks which ultimately helps in spreading positivity and a feeling of community. Nikhil Kapur, Founder Director of Atmantan Wellness Centre says, “different mediums are used by different brands as per the accessibility and convenience of the target audience. The most popular are the Facebook and Instagram Live streams and YouTube Live as it gives the brand to engage with a broad range of audience and helps to directly communicate with them. Other than this there are many virtual consultations and webinars available to join at a minimum commercial which gives a whole personal experience to the guest.”
Dt. Shikha Mahajan, Holistic Nutritionist and Founder, Diet Podium opines, “while a 30-minute workout is enough for general fitness, if your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, control lifestyle issues you definitely need nutrition therapy and merely working out will not suffice. Currently we have enough time to cook at home and distractions like social events and restaurant meals are non-existent. It is the right time to go on a diet.” Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Founder, Nutriactivania adds, “most phones offer GPS and accelerometers (that track your movement). Several apps have pre-recorded regimen such as yoga and aerobics, while others connect you live with a personal trainer and online community to develop a plan catered specifically to your fitness goals.” Himani Mishra, CEO & Co-Founder, Brand Radiator says, “healthy diet also has an important role to keep you away from gaining kilo’s during lockdown. A vegetarian light and timely food and having some fruits in between two solid meals, is what I prefer. I have decreased my tea intake and increased water intake.” Many corporates are offering wellness sessions to their employees as they are working from home. “So, I plan out sessions specific for the corporates addressing the areas of ‘how to maintain work-life balance, taking care of the posture, joint movements, breath-work techniques and the art of relaxation. And the employees enjoy these sessions as a much-needed break,” says Jenil Dholakia, Yoga and Meditation Teacher.
The common misconception is that home workouts are not as effective as gym workouts. But that’s not true as with the right technique and by adding progression to these workouts, one can stay fit. “Twice a day, Fittr Coaches go online and conduct free workout sessions for the over 800,000 strong members of the Fittr community. At 6 am and again at 6 pm, these qualified fitness experts go live on the Fittr Facebook Page and show Fitizens how to stay fit and continue their fitness journeys. These workouts range from Bodyweight Exercises, Yoga & Meditation, and even exercises that can be done using everyday household items,” says Jitendra Chouksey, Founder of FITTR. Dr. Himani Khanna, Co-Founder, Continua Kids & Developmental Pediatrician avers, “stay motivated to exercise as it has multiple benefits like prevents weight gain, improves strength and agility, keeps us active and happy, increases our confidence and diverts us from the unpleasant thoughts and worries. There is a surge in the availability of online health care services.” When joining online classes, it is a must to exercise care and caution especially for pregnant women. Dr. Sneha Shah, Co-founder, The Birth Home, Midwifery Care and Natural Birth Centre, Bangalore adds, “the golden rule for exercises is ‘no one size fits all’, there may be some restrictions of workout depending on your pregnancy and health history. Attending prerecorded sessions may do more harm than good. We recommend attending live sessions from trained instructors and professionals. A detailed assessment for general health status and pregnancy is crucial to design one of a kind program for you.” So take care and stay safe.
- 8fit Workouts & Meal Planner
- Daily Yoga
- Fitbit Coach
- Nike Training Club
- Adidas Training
- GOLD’s Amp Fitness and Training
- Google Fit
- 7 Minute Workout
Read the story that first appeared in Healthcare India’s June 2020 issue here: