It is in the household chores that you can achieve complete fitness involving cardio and weight training too!
Stop missing gyms and find the treasure within the four walls that you are confined in. Here’s how.
The coronavirus pandemic is a grave crisis, afflicting almost the entire world simultaneously. In India, we are in a state of national lockdown and all of us are confined within the four walls of our homes.
Before we even think of cribbing about this confinement, let us spare a thought for the thousands of migrant labourers and other poor people who have been suddenly displaced and facing untold misery.
Against this background let us graciously lessen the burden of our brave medical and paramedical warriors, our police force and simultaneously contribute to lessening the danger of being carriers or spreading the infection, by staying at home!
Having said that, let us take this problem as an opportunity to stay fighting fit – the one and only weapon so far to combat the deadly virus or for that matter any other infection. This implies that we need to be fit in the body and mind too.
As for physical fitness, I, (like perhaps many of you), was sulking as my access to my favourite jogging track in the mornings and the gym in the evenings, came to a grinding halt.
I was worried about gaining weight, and more importantly feeling slothful and unhealthy. At the yoga classes that I attend, the Yoga teacher had clearly mentioned that looking slim does not mean you are physically healthy. You need strength and stamina for which you have to activate your muscles. Since then I understood what it means to have a fit body. Day one of the Maharashtra lockdown, I began my day with 11 Suryanamaskars followed by some yogasanas that strengthen muscles of your limbs, back and the stomach. In the evening too, I did another round of exercise – this time, a mile walk at the place where you are standing (there are lovely videos which you can follow) and some stretching exercises. However, there was more good news to come.
Being a woman, I’m a housewife of course always but three decades of being a working gave me license to ignore house work and depend largely on domestic help. Now without her and never ready to compromise on putting off any housework in the absence of a maid, I decided to fix a schedule to do it.
In the evening, around 5 p m, I do the sweeping and the swabbing. The initial two days, my body ached but I realised the immense power of these jobs. While you have to keep bending not only to clean the floor but also further bend to get the broom under sofas, dining chairs and cupboards, to sweep dirt away, you are exercising all your joints and your lower back. The swabbing with the stick and the thick strands of cloth threads tied to it is a great cardio as well as muscle strengthening exercise. For, you have to squeeze out the cloth strands (need strength on your fingers and wrist) to wring out the water from the bucket and as you move it forward and backward and sideways to swab, you feel the muscles of your upper body activated and by the end of it, drip in sweat. Not to forget, that you are experiencing the `Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ syndrome, yourself!
The silence and the meditativeness with which you can achieve give you a chance to ponder – a maid is doing it for job sake while you are doing it with the utmost concern of making your house clean; you keep wasting energy on blaming her for inefficient work; you hardly bother to monitor her and expect that she should achieve a Perfect 10 all the time. Ask yourself if it is humanly possible and whether you don’t cheat sometimes!!.
The next chores – washing clothes and cleaning bathrooms – are great ways to flatten your stomach and make you healthier.
I, for one, do not have a washing machine so I soak the clothes and after sometime, get down to washing them. Sitting on a low stool, cleaning every cloth with a brush and then collecting it to hit against the floor, I think burns fat too.
Remember, at the gym, you have this long, thick rope which you move it up and hit it down on the floor to strengthen your muscles? If you do the same with big clothes like gowns and towels, you get the same effect! Drying them too tones up your hand muscles.
Similarly, washing the bathrooms exercises your stomach and leg muscles and washing wash basins and commodes with bathroom cleaner liquids and a brush/cloth strengthens your wrists and arms. Similarly, washing utensils is a great energizing exercise. You have to give force to your fingers and hands if you want the utensils to be sparkling clean. After that, you need to clean the sink for which you have to bend and put pressure of your fingers against the walls of the sink.
Last but not the least; cooking is good for mental and emotional health, besides the benefits of physical health.
Indulging in cutting so many varied colours, putting tadkas, needing the dough, charting out a menu (which you might be doing even when you have domestic help) whips up a lot of positive energy and is all about `giving’ as you feed your entire family.
Of course, with the lockdown there are family members to help you out and when all of you share the burden with a smiling face and cheerful disposition, the warmth of a home will be seasoned with affection and love.
And lo and behold, no virus disease or negativity or mental depression can come your way!
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and/or individuals quoted and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.
That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.
Get Real And Stay Relevant says Vinita,
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