Athletes and sports professionals are stuck indoors, probably for the very first time in their lives, as sporting events across the globe get postponed. When the pitch, field or court are your whole life, how do you deal with a work-from-home culture?
In an exclusive interview, World Badminton Champion PV Sindhu about her time in lockdown, to find out how the sport's star is keeping fit, spending time and encouraging others to stay motivated and healthy.
"Given the unprecedented times we are living in, with all of us grappling to understand what the "new" normal is, it is easy to let our own well-being take a back seat. There is no substitute for hard work. We continue to deliver our best results at work but focus, on our fitness has taken a backseat. I strongly believe that now is not the time for excuses and we can continue our workout regimes while we stay indoors," asserts Sindhu who is the Brand Ambassador for Gatorade.
As an endeavour to encourage people who are at home to stay fit and invest in themselves, Gatorade, the world's no. 1 sports drink brand partners with the ace shuttler in a digital film. The new initiative aims to change the mindset of Indians and encourage them to drop all excuses, and "Workout-From-Home". Sindhu adds, "It is important to remember that we will tide through these times, we should remain fit and healthy through these times."
As a sportswoman it must be tough and heartbreaking to stay away from the court and be in lockdown?
Sindhu: There’s nothing more difficult for a sportsperson than being away from her sport, but these are unprecedented times and we need to act responsibly. We need to utilise the time at hand to focus on ourselves, our personal fitness and ensure a work-life balance.
Like all other community events including music festivals and theatre, sporting events across the world have been cancelled or postponed; how will this affect athletes and professionals in terms of both training and performance?
Sindhu: The world is in a state of flux. We need to believe that all this will be over soon; and be ready to get back to the game the day it is over. For us, our body and our fitness are everything. If we don’t take care of it, our body can ditch us when we need it the most. So, even if nothing is moving, we should! Like everyone else is working from home, we athletes are working out from home.
How important is physical fitness for mental well-being during this crisis?
Sindhu: More important than it’s ever been. Taking care of ourselves and investing time to focus on personal fitness is crucial, for both our physical and mental well-being. If fitness was a hobby, now it needs to become a habit. Taking out some time to workout from home while we are working from home, not only energizes you physically but also ensures higher productivity during the day.
In fact the digital video highlights that just like work has not stopped in the current times, one’s focus on fitness and exercise should not either. Gatorade and I are trying to showcase and motivate people on how daily household items like carpets, bottles and stairs can become a part of one’s daily ‘Workout-From-Home’ routine, as long as we intend to take the time out to exercise.
Even household chores can be made into fun exercise activities?
Sindhu: I totally agree. Improvisation keeps any physical activity from getting boring and at home we have all the tools for excellent workouts. Use your tables, sofas, chairs, yoga mats, water bottles, why even the walls to burn some calories. Find a partner you love working out with, like how I have found a workout partner in my 17-month-old nephew.
With the Indian Summer, it’s important to stay hydrated, even if you’re indoors and not sweating it out. Do you agree?
Sindhu: Even when we aren’t sweating a lot, we are continuously losing water. And since we are home, we tend to miss this part and forget to take in the liquids. I would urge everybody to stay at home, keep your Gatorade sipper by your side and stay hydrated. In times like these, nothing is as important as the basics.
What are you indulging in during the lockdown, and what keeps you busy?
Sindhu: Right now my indulgence has been my family. Because of my hectic training and tournament schedules, I never get much time to spend with them. Now I work out with them, eat with them and have fun with them. I am loving it.
What are you binge watching at the moment?
Sindhu: I prefer a good mix of sports movies and biographical movies. Athletes are too disciplined to binge ;)
Tarun Bhagat, Director-Marketing, Hydration and Cola, PepsiCo India adds, “Even during these challenging times, it’s heartening to see that work hasn’t stopped for us. We continue to deliver our best. However, while juggling the current Work-From-Home situation, our individual health has taken a backseat and through this video, we intend to encourage people to take out time, work out from home and give due importance to their personal fitness.”
Giving a new twist to its ‘Nothing Beats Gatorade’ philosophy, the video encourages people to not just Work-From-Home but also embrace the concept of Work-Out-From-Home as part of their daily routine. Through the video, P.V. Sindhu shares a message of motivation and shows how daily household items like carpets, bottles and stairs can become a part of one’s daily ‘Workout-From-Home’ routine. The film showcases how ‘life as we know it’ has changed but not stopped, and features glimpses of people who have successfully turned their homes into workrooms and boardrooms. It then goes on to show how we can similarly take household items available to us at home and turn them into tools for working out.