No morning runs, no evening walks. No socialising and meeting friends. Stay at home and only at home, exercise in your homes for a few days. These were the general instructions given to people in India regarding exercising during the lockdown that began on 25th March.
In some of the other countries where there is lockdown, Singapore for example, citizens have been told that they can go out to the nearby parks to exercise, while ensuring that the social distancing rule is not being broken. After all, exercise and sunlight and fresh air are important to keep healthy. And the air outside is indeed as fresh as it has ever been in years!
India has been quite firm on the lockdown-exercise rule, and rightly so. There are just too many people, and they’re not fearful about breaking the law or bending the rules. They are so smart that they’ll find loopholes that will fit all kinds of activities into “exercising”, totally defeating the purpose of lockdown. So a blanket “no exercising outside your home” has been the rule.
In Maharashtra, people have been arrested for taking morning walks and violating the lockdown rules. The early mornings are lovely in Mumbai. With the law-abiding citizens staying home, we have the roads to ourselves. No better time to go out for a walk or run. Imagine if all these compulsive exercisers were arrested. The jails would be overflowing!
The Maharashtra Police found a different way of handling these people. They’ve taken a lot of trouble to make placards with apt lines. Offenders’ pictures with the placards are being circulated on social media. A neat way to deter them from repeating the offence, and to convey the message to others.
Got these pictures as Whatsapp forwards. Look at the number of people that the police have lined up at one place, social distancing ensured.
Those who live in independent houses and have compounds, can walk and run there quite easily. Even if you live in a flat, there are many ways to exercise.
Apart from the body-conditioning sort of activity (Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Zumba, etc.), one can walk and run inside the house as well. There are people who have run marathons at home. (Do an online search and you will find out how many!) I myself did a 5km run on the occasion of the International Day of the Marathon a couple of weeks ago. And there are more virtual runs scheduled in the week ahead in case you need some motivation.
As India enters the last week of the current 40-day lockdown, people are getting restless. Take a glance out onto the street (we have a good balcony view of the main road) and you’ll find many more people sitting around and walking here and there, compared to when the lockdown began. We’ll have to wait and see how we hold out. Take care and stay safe.