Mumbai-based fitness coach, Miten Kakaiya discusses the importance of fitness and activity levels during the lockdown
Miten working out
The unprecedented lockdown and the limited freedom of movement have left us all a little restless. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the struggle to keep ourselves motivated has been real. While some of us have taken to learning new skills, most of us are having a hard time sticking to our pre-covid routine. The closure of gyms, parks, yoga studios, sports centres, even swimming pools has left many of us without our favourite means to stay active.
As much as we’d like to curl up on the couch and procrastinate, staying active is essential to our wellbeing. According to WHO, long periods of physical inactivity is a leading cause for several lifestyle diseases and disability. We spoke to Mumbai-based fitness professional, Miten Kakaiya about reduced physical activity, “Both during and after the lockdown, we've seen a significant reduction in activity levels. This means that your body is burning a lot less energy than it was (earlier). You need to ensure that you maintain the optimum balance between calorie consumption and calorie burn. Apart from the obvious fitness goals, it is important to stay active and eat smart in order to maintain good physical and cardiovascular health, boost your immunity, and protect against illness.”
Miten shared valuable tips on few commonly asked questions about fitness and activity levels.
1. Why do we need to stay active during the pandemic?
“During the pandemic, our movement and activity levels have reduced drastically and we aren’t going out, working out, indulging in other activities as much as we used to. It is important to stay active in order to maintain our fitness levels and overall health.”
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2. How can one stay active during the pandemic?
“The obvious option is to work out at home, this can be anything from resistance band and dumbbell workouts to bodyweight training and HIIT. The little things like getting up and walking around and helping with household chores can also aid in improving your activity levels. Just don’t sit around all day - working or watching the television.”
3. Is walking around the house enough to stay fit?
“Yes, of course. Every little bit helps when it comes to staying active. If you want to get fitter however, you will also need to follow a suitable workout routine that you can do at home, and control your diet. “
4. I can't bring myself to workout alone. Do you have any tips?
“A lot of people face this problem, this lack of motivation to work out alone. There are several ways to stay motivated including setting short term goals that you can actually achieve, monitoring your progress with before after images, listening to your favourite workout music, not being too hard on yourself on bad days and most importantly - sticking with it until it becomes a part of your routine.”
5. I don't have access to weights, how do I get in an intense workout?
“You can make your workout intense without weights by using multiple techniques such as slowing down your rep tempo, reducing your rest period in between sets, and performing a higher number of reps to increase the tension on your muscles. “
6. Should I keep consuming the same calories as before or will I gain weight/fat?
“As I mentioned earlier, your activity levels have dropped significantly during the pandemic. This means that if you continue to eat the same amount of calories as before, you will be in a calorie surplus which will make you gain fat. To avoid gaining fat, you can increase your energy burn by increasing your activity levels, reduce the calories that you consume, or follow a suitable combination of the two.”
7. I can't go to the gym for cardio, what can I do at home?
“You don’t need cardio equipment to stay active and burn fat! One of the best ways to burn fat is by performing an HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workout. It’s an intense workout that involves short bursts of activity during which you need to push yourself to the max. HIIT is a great way to burn fat, improve your cardiovascular health, and build muscle. The best part is that you can do it anywhere, you don’t need a gym. Check out this super easy HIIT routine that you can do at home today.”
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8. Why do I need to perform extra activities during this period?
“You need to perform extra activities to make up for the reduction in your daily calorie-burning tasks. Just sitting around at home is going to have a negative impact on both your physical and mental health. And while we are trying to stay cautious about the novel Coronavirus, we would not want to attract other lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, etc.”
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