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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Fitness in the time of a pandemic: Home gyms, investment in training equipment to stay in shape

While many people use free YouTube videos to learn exercises, others are training with instructors from across India and abroad. Most fitness buffs feel that the personal exercises in home gyms are here to stay for the long haul.

Written by Ruchika Goswamy | Pune |
Updated: May 27, 2021 9:42:21 pm
weightlifting, benefits of weightlifting, weightlifting stronger body, study on lifting weightsAcross the city, fitness enthusiasts have been fighting the flab by turning portions of their home into fitness centres. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Dia Kothari, 45, was a regular at the gym for two decades until lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic forced fitness centres to shut last year. As the pandemic stretched on, she decided to convert one bedroom inside her 4 BHK house into a mini gym. Sometimes, she would also move to her balcony. She bought dumb-bells, kettlebells, resistance and stretch bands, yoga mats and blocks and started online classes with her instructor from the gym.

It has been over a year since gyms shut down due to the pandemic. While they were allowed to open for a brief period, the onslaught of the second wave forced them to close their doors again. For those regular at the gym, it has meant a break in their healthcare routine even as the practice of working from home has added to ailments related to a sedentary lifestyle. But many, especially with space and resources, have turned portions of their home into their fitness havens.

Aparnita Karmalkar, 42, for instance, has been doing bodyweight training at home for a year with equipment ranging from a sandbag and medicine ball to weights and resistance bands. Under the instructions of a personal trainer online, she has learned a range of different exercises within the confines of her home. According to her, living in a township gave her space inside her society to set up and explore. For those not wishing to invest in equipment, there are experts such as Veerdhaval Chorage, founder and owner of B2B Gym in Aundh, who have designed online training classes with basic or no equipment at all.

A 35-year-old management executive from Aundh said she began to suffer from stiffness and body ache as her muscles were not getting proper exercise. “During the first wave, we were hopeful that gyms would reopen in a few months and all would be well. Now, we are hearing about a possible third wave so it makes sense to invest in fitness gear. I have bought a pair of ankle weights and a some other small equipment. I wanted to rent a treadmill, but I live in a 2 BHK, so space did not permit,” she said.

While many people are using free YouTube videos to learn exercises, others are training with instructors from across India and abroad.

Suprabha Dikshatha, 42, a corporate professional from Magarpatta, joined online sessions with The Movement Guild, a wellness facility in Europe, which uses recorded sessions. “Under normal circumstances, I would have had to take a few months of break to travel to Europe. Now, I could complete the course online and learn a whole set of new things in mobility. It gives me visibility to what can work for me from globally accredited training models,” she said.

Most fitness buffs feel that personal exercises at home gyms are here to stay. “There is convenience to online workouts as we do not need to travel. Whenever gyms open, I will probably go back but we have to be adaptive. I would probably want to do fitness exercises with my friends, but activities such as yoga might continue online,” Kothari said.

Sehej Maini, a powerlifter and fitness coach, said, “Though online training can never truly replace the essence of being trained in person, when you have access to all the equipment you need in your own room and a trainer over the phone or laptop, a lot of people might want to continue with this convenient lifestyle.”


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