I can feel the adrenaline pumping again, and boy, I’ve missed this. The feeling of going for a run, of stretching and doing Yoga, of swimming till that (oh so sweet) pain takes over your arms, or scraping your knees on a basketball court or football ground, but looking up and laughing at your teammates. For a few years now, I have missed playing sports, but all these memories came rushing back to me today, with the feeling that I want to at least try and do it all over again.
I felt this while reading a study commissioned by Virat Kohli and global sports brand PUMA. Executed by KANTAR-IMRB the study reveals startling facts about the status of sports adoption in India. In our country of 1 billion, how many of us actually come out and play? Surprisingly, not many – and that’s a culture you and I together need to change.
One of the most shocking facts from the study was that 1/3rd of us have not done any physical activity even once in the last one year! In fact – 57% of us haven’t played any sport even once in the last one year. After reading this, I immediately texted a few friends and asked them when they had played any sport last. Almost all of them said they didn’t remember. The conversation carried on. My 62-year-old dad recently started walking and he tries to play a sport. He is already feeling less stressed about his busy work life. He asked me if I was going to workout as well, but I had no answer. “You need to start working out again!” he told me. I asked him how I could take some time out and he gave me the following tips:
Just like we keep fixed meal times, we need to just fix 30-45 mins a day to play a sport of our choice. This creates a routine and your body adapts to the effort needed – making it that much more fit and active.
A partner, even a long-distance one, can keep you motivated. Both of you can plan to work out every day and share updates. Accountability is key here.
Put up a chart in your room and start tracking how many days you’re working out. Measure your weight every two weeks. When you see the difference, it motivates you to stay active.
Try a marathon, a team sport or a fitness challenge. It’s a great way to set a goal and keep yourself motivated.
Sometimes I think of the times we used to play sports in school and I instantly get more relaxed. Virat too, says that sports are a great way to deal with stress. And honestly? Stress is a factor that unites us as a nation – and one game of hide-and-seek with your friends this weekend, or gully cricket or hockey, football or anything you like – can be a solution.
Another interesting fact the study brings out is WHY most Indians don’t play sports.
No guesses here! The reason is lack of time. But here’s a reality check – the study also found that the average Indian spends 4 to 5 hours on social media, watching TV, etc. If we choose to work around our schedules to include play, both our physical and mental health is sure to stay at 100%.
So here’s my health promise – I accept Virat and PUMA’s study as a reality check, and I am going to do what I can to find time and go back to my childhood love – sports. Support me – let’s take this movement ahead, and #ComeOutAndPlay.