An anonymous author once wrote: “We live in a time when it is more important to capture moments with our phone than to actually live the moment with someone who is next to us.”
Last year, in 2019, this quote was true, with everyone being taped onto their devices by choice rather than need. As the pandemic rages on, our paradigms have continued to shift, forcing us to socialize virtually. When we close our screens we become really isolated. Isolation brings depression and lethargy with it. The more people stuck to screens, the less health and fitness become and, in some cases, dangerously low values.
Fitness – the backbone of a strong lifestyle – helps us reduce stress, stay healthy and happy, while also taking a much-needed break from our screens. But since this dangerous pandemic has engulfed us, the lockdown has been mostly confined to our homes. CNBC and Psychology today found that people at the national level have become less active and sleep more. Within a month of the lockdown, the average activity level dropped 48% while people were sleeping 20% more.
After the national emergency lockdown in March, the national average reporting anxiety rose from 29% to 49%, largely due to activity restrictions and health fears. Physical activity reduces both temporary and long-term diagnosed and undiagnosed anxiety and increases neutrophils and natural killer cells that protect the body from viruses like COVID-19. Regular Exercise can also indirectly reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and other breathing problems that occur in many people who have contracted COVID-19. There is no doubt that it is the best way to protect yourself from physical and mental health problems, which will boost our immunity and help fight dangerous infections and diseases.
In the past six months since the lockdown, it has become apparent that fitness, or its lack of it, has become a major problem. It may seem like a mystery that the national average for activity level has fallen during this period, although many people claim to have “started exercising”. This can be explained fairly easily by the types of exercises that most perform under lockdown: unstable versus regular. Regular fitness is classified as vigorous, repetitive exercise of 75 minutes to 150 minutes per week for several weeks, as described by Mayo Clinic. Choppy exercise, on the other hand, while still severe, does not occur repeatedly enough to cause a noticeable improvement in fitness.
Many of us have tried to adapt to the emerging virtual fitness world by turning to virtual products for training and exercise at home capital. However, it is difficult to commit to a routine without outside assistance over a long period of time. Families have eagerly planned activity times like hiking, family walks, and beach days, but these activities are not defined as rigorous, repetitive exercise, which creates the big misconception that people become more active. Since regular exercise is mandatory to maintain calm composure, relieve stress, protect against viruses, and stay focused and alert, we need to find a way to bring fitness back into our society.
The best practice for creating and maintaining an exercise routine is to work with someone to create a planned extensive training plan and to work together to hold each other accountable. When it comes to your health, don’t leave anything to chance. So, plan your approach and seek expert advice to develop the best and safest exercise routine for you. Each individual is unique in their strengths, skills and flexibility. Hence, a routine that is tailored to you is best. Personally, I started doing scheduled zoom workouts with my friends, focusing on building muscle and staying healthy. I took virtual sports classes for teenagers and made a commitment to attend them every time. My top sport is Taekwondo and I have integrated at least one hour of virtual learning and teaching every day of the week.
In March I started my own virtual fitness and martial arts classes, mainly for family and close friends. In just a few months, I realized the amazing progress my students had made in their martial arts learning and overall fitness and health. They had matured in discipline and perseverance. Encouraged and realizing the benefit my classes were bringing, I officially started a non-profit organization with the premise of expanding fitness and martial arts training virtually to teenagers. The free courses teach general fitness, self-defense and self-confidence. Fit4Grit Academy Almost 10 teachers now teach over 35 students. We also have multiple partnerships with national nonprofits, youth employment / development organizations, and martial arts and fitness academies. We are working to expand nationwide and globally. Fit4Grit is focused on fitness by teaching students the most effective ways to exercise in a safe environment with commitment, accuracy and discipline. The basic values of fitness taught in Fit4Grit can lead to the creation of a healthy lifestyle in the long term.
With the uncertainty around us, it is important to take care of our health and that of our loved ones. Fitness offers the most benefits to everyone of all ages, anywhere. Take the time to understand your body and needs, and prioritize your health, even if it means picking up that electronic device and taking a virtual fitness class.
To let Fit4Grit Academy help you. Try a class and plan your fitness plan from the comfort of your home. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your fitness needs, please contact me, Adarsh Gupta, at [email protected]
Adarsh Gupta, a sophomore at Saint Francis High School, a Martial Art Black Belt 2nd degree, a competitive golfer, and the founder of Fit4Grit Academy. He loves being surrounded by fitness, but he also likes to relax by playing guitar and working in the garden.
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