Want to stay healthy at home but don't know? Guinness Book of World Records holder Shajan Samuel tells you how

Covid-19 is a black-swan event which has paralysed human civilisation in every possible way. One of the greatest benefits of lockdown has been that it has allowed us to pause and introspect, according to ultra runner Shajan Samuel who gives tips on how to keep fit while at home.
Fitness at home and how to do it Want to stay healthy at home but don't know? Guinness Book of World Records holder Shajan Samuel tells you how
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When we pause, we reconnect with ourselves, others, nature and the world around us. Even without saying anything, even without doing anything, we reconnect in this way. 
We were already in a Health crisis before the advent of Covid19. 61 % deaths in India are due to lifestyle diseases, there is no point going to a gym and working out for 1 hour and rest of the day being physically inactive, eating junk or sleeping less than 7 hours. 
A healthy lifestyle is about the unification of the body, mind and spirit. We have time for everything, but when it comes to spending 45 minutes daily for exercising, we have excuses. This is because we have relegated health to the bottom of our priority list whereas health should be on top of our priority list.

Covid19 has altered our lives in more ways than we can imagine. We are socially distancing, staying at home, unable to dine out, this is also the time in which we can run amok and neglect our health. Most of us find solace in food, so whatever we can lay our hands on or whatever food gives us interim pleasure we consume.

Being a road runner, lockdown bottled me. I had no way to run outside. Then I discovered a new way of staying fit: by running indoors. I was the first person in India to run an indoor full marathon 42.195 km on the day of Janata curfew and then kept running for  29 continuous days at an average of 22.5 km per day clocking a total of 650 km, 65,000 loops of 10 km. I also did 2,222 squats in 1,11 hours & climbed 650 stairs (up & down) in 3.03 hours. I found different ways of keeping myself fit during the lockdown.  In short, I converted a crisis Into an opportunity & never compromised my health.

What I did was extreme sports, because I firmly believe magic happens when you push past your limits. I would advise everyone to spend at least 30 minutes daily either walking, stretching, or by doing strength work out or even yoga. The idea is to be physically active. Strong immunity is very important. It is imperative to take care of our health during these critical times.

For me, over time it has become clear what I value, what drives me every moment of every day, isn’t winning. It is a challenge and that value of seeking challenge has permeated every aspect of my life. Nothing ignites me more than the thrill of a challenge and the unknown.
Why? Because the challenge is a value that does not die. And it is independent of winning. If winning was my overarching value and sole reason for competing, I would have walked away from Ultrarunning a long time ago. I have zero desire to do that. 
Running for me is romantic for you cannot muscle through a 12-hour run, you have to ease into it. Running is also food for my soul and my third dimension. It allows me to stay in the moment and has helped me discover myself. Running is also a natural form of human evolution so skills are not important. I would suggest beginners to start waking and monitoring their heart rate and then gradually build their aerobic base.

My tips to stay healthy are as follows:
- Follow a balanced diet with a lot of vegetables and fruits, avoid packaged, processed, preserved foods.
- Avoid snacking between meals and consume food which has high nutritional value.
- Avoid aerated drinks, there is no substitute for water, have 3-4 litres per day.
- Avoid coffee after 3 pm and your last meal should not be after 6.30 pm 
- 8 hours of sleep mandatory. 1 hour before sleep, all gadgets should be switched off.
- 45 minutes exercise 6 days a week, can be anything, do not sit in one place for more than 30-minute blood circulation important.
- Meditation for 15 minutes.

Since the lockdown, 70% of Indians are sleeping well past midnight. Sleep is the third pillar of good health, alongside diet and exercise. Sleep is more than a pillar, it is the foundation on which the other 2 health bastions sit. Take away the bedrock of sleep or weaken it a little and watch the insidious impact on health. The less one sleeps, the more one is likely to eat. Besides, our body becomes unable to manage those calories effectively especially the concentration of sugar in our blood. 
Most of the lifestyle diseases can be prevented and that is the good news. Therefore prioritise health it will then take care of your career, your personal goals etc. If you are physically weak, even the simplest task will be insurmountable. 
 It’s ok if you have a small house, it is ok if you have a small car, it is ok if you can’t afford a  foreign holiday, it is ok if you have fewer clothes to wear, not the latest smartphone. But it is not ok if you cannot spend 45 minutes daily on your health. Health comes first.

About the author: Shajan Samuel is an ultra runner. He is also a Guinness Book of World Records holder and has been featured in Indian Book of Records for indoor running. 

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Anonymous 9 months ago

An eye opener for middle aged folks like me.