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Health and fitness have attained paramount importance amongst the youth of today. It’s not just about the stereotypical weight loss programmes, but more about maintaining a healthy mind and body. Gyms and fitness centres have been the usual places that people often pay a visit to regularly for their daily workout routine. But with the sudden shutdown of such places due to the worldwide pandemic, the regular gym-goers and fitness freaks have been facing a hard time to keep up with their routine and motivation.

Initially, everyone took this as a blessing in disguise to rest at home for a while. “I thought it would be a good thing to take a break from the habitual gym sessions which used to completely wear me out. But after a few weeks, the sedentary lifestyle settled in and I couldn’t keep up with my workout routine,” said Rajashree Priyadarshini, a Civil services aspirant. “The lockdown disrupted my diet schedule too, till I found a Youtuber named, Chloe Ting. I have been trying to follow her divergent workout programmes and gathered myself a bunch of friends to do the same with me dedicatedly. I also got back to eating healthy, trying to eat more fruits and seeds and keep the weekends for my cheat meals. Her workouts are more focused on muscle isolation rather than strength training which I used to do. Nonetheless, I am quite delighted with the results, and don’t want to complain at the moment when the world has so many things to worry about. ” she added.

But not everyone can be driven by sheer motivation amidst this pandemic. Having to devise a workout schedule at home can be quite daunting, along with having to adjust to life in the lockdown. “It is quite an arduous task to formulate a power lifting schedule at home, without any proper pieces of equipment. It requires months and years of heavy drilling for a power lifter athlete to be prepared for any competition and sitting at home for such a prolonged period can make one lose one’s strength,” said Pallav. “But I am trying to make the most out of this situation by trying to control my diet in whatever fronts possible, and by creating a self-rewarding system with the minimal exercises at home. Our brain is the most important ‘muscle’ and I always make sure to pay enough attention to my mental health too,” he added. Pallav had been selected for Mr. India in power lifting after completing the trials, but the event was canceled due to the virus and it took him some time to gain back the energy after this.

While on the other hand these months of being cooped up at home has been a much-needed change for some. “Frankly, my diet plan has been great which I was unable to do back in the hostel. I have made sure to eat a lot of healthy stuff, along with having a specified time for it, which seemed quite unfeasible before. I have turned out to be highly diligent, but the resources are lacking evidently,” mentioned Md. Hasim, a student of NIT Rourkela, who has been hitting the gym customarily for a few years now and is earnestly interested in possessing a fit body. The people for whom the gym functioned as an escape to get away from things and focus on bodybuilding have suffered the most. The utmost faith that things would be back to normal is dwindling with each passing day. “I brought weights to try to manifest the feeling of being in a gym, but couldn’t keep up with it. It’s a vicious cycle where I kept telling myself that things will be different from the next day forth but the same mundane routine continues,” said Prithviraj Das Mohapatra, an ardent gym freak who loved hitting the gym before. According to him, he doesn’t feel that he lost a lot of his strength due to the methodical home workouts that he has been trying somehow but is worried about not burning enough calories.

The pandemic which seems to be worsening with each passing day has been devastating for some individuals. Pravash Sethi, a Chemistry student cannot help but be completely hopeless by the sudden turn of events as he has put on a lot of weight due to the irregularity of the home workout. “My muscle strength is no more the same even though I try to do the normal roof slap push-ups pull-ups. A lack of well-equipped ambience and instruments is the major source of disappointment. Working out with your buddies and working out alone can affect muscle growth tremendously. The zeal to keep a check on the progress also lacks which serves as a major problem for the uninterested attitude, ” Pravash stated. Tanushree Bhowmick, a content writer who finally catered to her New Year’s resolution to start leading a healthy lifestyle had recently joined the gym. Fortunately, her trainer was also quite cooperative and she was managing to acquire her goal. With the COVID outbreak, she was forced to sit at home and work from home. “The pressure to meet the deadlines and manage a prescribed time for the workout has been very burdensome. Although I haven’t gained too much weight because I only eat home-cooked meals, I have lost the capability and strength that I had gained in the last few months,” she added.

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