Investing in your body during this lockdown?

Jenson Rajkumar
When I came home in late February, everything was normal. People were going to work as usual, kids were staying at home. Because of school holidays and not because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In typical returning home fashion, I enjoyed with my friends by going to picnics, attended weddings, chakoubas and then picnics to celebrate my friends getting married. It was business as usual. Slowly and slowly, my weight ballooned up. So did my body. I was unable to do the physical activities that I used to do with relative ease, like running a 5 Km or playing football at full fitness. Basic bodyweight exercises became difficult too.
I don’t have to look at a global statistic or wait for someone to tell me that being overweight can have severe effect on our life. I know it does. I have had friends, relatives and close ones suffer from diabetes, cardiac arrests, stroke and various health issues because of living a very sedentary lifestyle thereby getting way too overweight.
So, I said to myself “Enough is enough. I need to start something for the better”. The next day, I called my 2 nieces to do some fun based games in the morning. The sort of activities that I did when I was coaching sports clubs and Physical Education at Primary Schools in London not so long ago.
It was a short-term plan and we planned to continue till they start their new academic school year. Then, the lockdown happened. The schools gave a notice that they’ll postpone it (commencement of the new academic year) to June. Us three (my nieces and myself) continued every day.
Soon after, my other niece, nephew and my sister joined. Then, my dad joined. In schools, they do not emphasise too much about physical activities. Or, not to the extent and variations of fun-filled activities that we have done and are doing. That is what my nieces, nephews and cousins tell me.
2 months on, we’re still going strong. Nowadays, we begin at 7:30 am. So, they have learnt about discipline, to wake up and be on time. A proper sleeping pattern, disciplined eating habits. They have also learnt about mental strength, perseverance, confidence, leadership qualities and most importantly, about how getting physically active can do more good than bad. So have I. It would have been way too easy for me to sit and enjoy the delicacies at home without engaging myself in any sort of physical activities, rigorous ones. Instead, I’ve successfully helped form a team who motivates each other as well as well our whole family. Recently, I have started my own YouTube channel which includes easy-to-execute exercises for everyone at home. I want to share to everyone that ‘investing’ 30 minutes in our daily life to do physical activities can prolong our lifespan, enhancing our physical and mental well-being.
(Jenson Rajkumar is a Level 2 qualified football coach from the English Football Association and a Level 1 qualified PE teacher, having coached grassroots football, primary school sports at football clubs and schools across London. He writes health and fitness articles at a London based magazine (