Lockdown fitness: Don't lose focus

Ambika Shaligram
Tuesday, 19 May 2020

The challenge before me now is to maintain the same intense fitness level required for the Mt Satopanth expedition, which might perhaps take place next year

Architect Purva Shinde Singh has always been an outdoors person, trekking, hiking. Except for a six-month break when her son was born, she always continued with some form of exercise or the other.

“I have always been an outdoors person. My father loved going for long walks and he would take us along. I grew up in Aurangabad before coming to Pune and there I used to go on hikes and walks. After coming to Pune in 2002, I started trekking in the Sahyadris. In between, I also did yoga and zumba. I love being fit,” she says.

Even during the lockdown, she has not wavered from her focus and continues to exercise and eat nutritious food. “I was going for an expedition to Mt Satopanth (7000 mtrs above sea level), near Gangotri glaciers, in August-September. But this plan, for now, stands cancelled. When you are going on expeditions, the key factor is to keep your body acclimatised to the altitude levels. So it’s necessary to go to the mountains every six months. The challenge before me is to maintain the same intense fitness level required for the expedition, which might perhaps take place next year,” says Shinde.

The 40-year-old continues to wake up at 5 am, eat nuts and then exercise. “I have always eaten nutritious homemade food, eggs and now I have included whey protein in my diet. I was never the type to eat Vada Pav. I have always carried all my dabbas to my workplace, sites etc. Since I have this goal before me, I am sticking to my routine. If I waver, then I will not be able to regain the focus six or eight months down the line,” she says.

Pre-lockdown, Shinde would do three days weight training in gym and on remaining days she would do two days running and one day of cycling.

“This was my schedule for six days and if Saturday fell under this six day period, I would go hiking to Sinhagad or between Katraj to Sinhagad. My rest day would be Sunday. If I had trekked on Sunday, then Monday would be my rest day,” she explains.

As her preparation for the expedition got off in full swing, Shinde began working out twice in theday. That was a given. “I would do gym workout for one and a half hours, each day working on a different body part. On Mondays, I would do legs, because on Saturdays, I would have trekked. Tuesdays was for run. I would run between 5-10 km. On Wednesdays, I would do biceps and on Thursdays, it would be the turn for cycling and running and then I would do abs the same day in the gym. On Fridays, I would do weights for upper body,” she adds.

However, once the lockdown began, Shinde had to bring in variation in her regime. “I have converted my terrace into a makeshift gym, where I do body weight workout. It’s not a full-fledged gym with all the equipment. I am using my husband’s old dumbbells, one plate weighing 7.5 kg and another of 10 kg. Ideally, all the four plates should be of equal weight, but this one is rather lopsided. I am doing more of body weight workout, like hanging down from ceiling, doing yoga,” she says.

Since she has more time on hand, no early morning rush to pack off her son to school or herself to office, Shinde is now doing meditation, breathing exercises. “It feels wonderful and calm, spending time by yourself, amidst bird calls. I also walk for 3 km in my housing society, followed by a Nike training workout of 45 minutes or so. And, then there is the makeshift gym,” she says.

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