Chhimi Dema  

Staying fit does not only mean visiting gyms anymore. With access to various social media sites, many have taken to work out in their living rooms during the second lockdown.

Pema Choden, 24, spends about an hour everyday exercising in her living room. She said that she follows a YouTuber and fitness personality, Chloe Ting. “To stay fit and healthy one does one require a gym membership nor gym equipment. If they have access to the internet staying fit is possible.”

Tashi Norbu from Thimphu said that he followed workout routines on YouTube. “YouTube have different exercises to suit our needs, whether it is to work on our abs or to lose weight.”

A recent study by Oxford University suggests that “higher levels of physical activity are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.” This means that the more one engages in physical activities the lesser the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Furthermore, according to the health bulletin 2020, 71 percent of the reported deaths were accounted for non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes in the country.

Health experts from the World Health Organisation say that regular physical activity is proven to help prevent and manage NCDs such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. “It also helps prevents hypertension, maintain healthy body weight and can improve mental health, quality of life and well-being.”

Another platform to engage in physical activity at home is Gokab’s live Basic Dance Fitness.

Yeshi Dorji, a founding member, said that the fitness sessions were aimed at encouraging people to follow a healthy lifestyle. “Gyms are closed and so are dance classes. We want to help people staying home keep themselves engaged and fit.”

The dance fitness is half an hour-long session with easy moves for beginners. The sessions are conducted by certified dance instructors.

This week, Gokab held two live sessions. The sessions had more than 14,000 views and more than 100 shares on Facebook. The sessions are live-streamed every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

While gyms are closed, some fitness coaches have connected with the members through social media.

XpressFit Club’s coach, Namkhay Gyalpo, said that he created home workout videos and shared them with the members. Some of the members also held Zoom sessions to work out together.

“The most effective workout is the one with intensity and consistency whether at home or in a gym,” Namkhay Gyalpo said.