New Delhi: India is in a turmoil right now. The lockdowns and curfews are being extended in various parts of the country and thus, places like gyms, theatres, etc. are closed. People who are fitness freaks have their own set of problems with gyms being closed. However, that is no excuse for not exercising regularly.
Minakshi Shukla, 42, a resident of Gurugram, is a professional athlete and a national level powerlifter, who recently won two gold medals in the National Championship at Talkatora Stadium, Delhi. In 2019, she made a podium finish in Ms Fitness India with the highest deadlift, secured a gold medal in kettlebell competition, and many more. She is the daughter of an ex-army officer.
Minakshi completed her schooling at Army Public School in Dhaula Kuan. She was an engineering student of the Electrical and Electronics branch and holds working experience in the IT branch for more than a decade. However, now she is following her passion, which is fitness. She is a certified pilates instructor and a certified fitness coach. She lives with her family which includes her husband, who is a corporate executive in the luxury automotive industry, and is a mother of a teenage son.
Minakshi never thought of lockdown as a stepping hurdle in her workout routine but she encouraged herself to do more at home. At this age, she is learning gymnastics. Minakshi says, “It is quite challenging at this age but it is worth it.”
Like others, Minakshi used to go to the gym every day but now in lockdown, she has made her setup at home only. She added, “It is not the gym but it is about motivation and the environment. If you are motivated then you can easily do your workout. But people these days are trying hard to keep themselves motivated. So I also try to keep pace with it and do workouts at least 4-5 times a week.”
Many people don’t go to the gym but continue to keep themselves fit and fine. Minakshi says, “For home exercise, I believe in doing functional training and compound movements which are my favourite. Burpees, jumping jacks are a good cardio exercise for home and don’t need much space to perform.”
She also said that going to the gym is not necessary, yoga mats are just enough, additional things that can be added like dumbbells if you want, all depend upon your fitness. If you are missing heavy machines in the gym, try to work on your flexibility, look at the stiffness in your body and use this time for improvement.
She says, “I will never suggest going out these days and doing an aggressive and high-intensity workout, which might lower the immunity.” We all are aware that a workout not only boosts your confidence level but also makes you look good.
Minakshi says, “Hormones will be balanced through exercise, especially for women, since after 40, they start experiencing irregular periods, PCOD, PCOS and other lifestyle disorders. You can easily avoid a lot of injuries, climb up the stairs without feeling restless or feeling out of breath. People ignore flexibility, it is very important in your general well-being. A person with six-packs abs might not be flexible, if you can’t scratch your back and you are having biceps, I would say that is not fitness.”
People are reluctant to do workouts at home because sometimes they feel lazy or sometimes it is because it makes them tired in between. But Minakshi says, “In between the workout, yes we feel tired but after completing it, there is a sense of accomplishment. It is worth the time and energy. When I feel low, whether it’s personal or work-related, all I do is pick up some weight and work out and then I get some clarity of thought along with relief. Your confused and stressed mind knows what to do now. So don’t make excuses and start doing a home workout. No gym doesn’t mean no workouts.”