In Family Con calls — I’m often scared because everything is so covid-related — there is usually a section on food. What does everyone have for breakfast, lunch, dinner? Who cooks? How is it? Can photos be shared? Cooking and eating have now become highlights in our lives (I heard my 12-year-old niece became a pro in the kitchen stuff). If I order anything, I usually get clean because I get a lecture from my dad about how homemade ones are safer, more hygienic, cheaper and so on.
A few weeks after our lockdown began in March, Dad threw me his first googly. “You seem to be cooking a lot (he clearly sees some of my Facebook posts) and enjoy your food, which is great … but are you fat in the process? What are you doing to stay healthy? Remember, Corona taught us that health is wealth.”
“Okay, I walked 45 minutes today,” I responded on Dr. Reflexల and immediately regretted the lie as I was about to be exposed. “How?” He was shocked. “Aren’t your Colony Park’s walking track restrictions?” I have to come back. Quickly. “I walked home … yes, well I did. I removed all the projectiles from my path and actively covered the liberated area I walked for 45 minutes until the clock, on foot, over and over.” “Clever,” he pronounced me. Could not stump.
The next day, I decided to turn my lie into action, and hit half-running and half-striding on the ground. In my mind, I replaced all the furniture with park shrub / greenery, and hey, it’s easy, I realized I can do it every day. I kept at it. After a while, in a group chat, I suggested it as a lamb to suit some of my friends and I was shocked to learn that many are doing the same thing.
It doesn’t matter if you have a small studio apartment or a spacious three bedroom villa, there is a will, there is a walkway. Increase the volume of the music and you do not even need annoying earphones: Surround sound is much better than a fine tuned narrow cast. I also like putting on a TV show (usually one I’ve seen before), and listening like an audiobook, but occasionally catching up on visual drama.
During this time, with no temporary boundaries with gyms, YouTube fitness tutorials have earned their own living (I think they are ages, but I never have time to check them out). I have found that the number of quick-fix options is the best part about these. 10 days seven minutes of exercise to get an elusive flat stomach? Check. Five sets of super easy exercises to “melt” body fat (like the word)? Check. Say goodbye to exactly four sets a day in two weeks? Check. There seems to be a “guaranteed” solution to every physical barrier.
I am an on and off basic yoga practitioner. Decades ago, when I was in high school, I had to attend a half-hour class (I was overweight, it was claimed); I definitely missed the exam for two months. In my later life, on (rare) good days, I collaborated to re-review those tedious lessons, which I strangely still remember enough. On other days, I find one excuse or another to avoid going into a state of horror. Pre-lockdown, I’m in an extended position with my NN for exercise before doing the virus.
Now, thanks to YouTube and its short-lived fitness pieces, I’m choking on good-looking, chatty women with dying bodies — along with a sense of humor. Working is not that easy. The only reason a friend would once adapt to her workout was her personal trainer, talking to her and laying eggs on her. Virtual personal trainers are not bad either. They seem to know when you will be wiped out by fatigue then and then they will turn the tables with gems like “this means burning calories”.
I love an instructor who works with the patch of the Hutch ad type The cozy twist in the background. The message is, the way I read it, there is no need for shindig-equipment, equipment, or weather to get into workout mode. This can be done with minimal hassle. Indian exercise experts have an interesting interface with viewers. One nugget I chose was that domestic ladies do not like to jump (most effort is obvious), so the sections are “designed” where one can stand or sit, stretching intricately, body toning.
The best part these days is how my ination has become spatial. My eyes glaze over whenever I throw micro acres from the furniture space. Remove that chair or coffee table, it will open up more space for me to walk. I retrieved my fitbit from the drawer, where it collected the pre-epidemic dust, attached it to my wrist, and let me track my movements. Trips from the bedroom to the bathroom also count as brownie points in my new fitness regimen.
Sushmita Bose is a journalist, editor and author of ‘Single in the City’.