For many people, one of the biggest disadvantages of the lockdown and the work-from-home life is the indiscipline that came with it, especially in personal wellness and fitness.
I must admit that I was one of them. Those wrist aches from typing all-day long and backaches from sitting for long hours and the lethargy and listlessness were all creeping back in.
I did sign up for online classes, but that didn’t work for me, as I couldn’t keep up with it all by myself.
But then two weeks ago, I joined the holistic, month-long Lifestyle Challenge of Studio 23, with an aim to get my life back on track and get in shape for my brother’s wedding. And I already feel energized, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
What I like the best about the challenge is that it is unlike any other online fitness challenges, which you would do for some time and then forget.
Studio 23’s 30-day lifestyle challenge aims to better your lives at all fronts – fitness, nutrition and mental health – and for the long-run. Arpreet Bajaj, Founder and owner of four-year-old Nariman Point-based Studio23 and team, monitor your food, water intake, number of steps, hours of sleep, time to bed, silence time and whether you have completed your workout for the day or not, and cajole you to turn off your devices at least 30 minutes before you sleep. “During the lockdown we realized that people felt the need for a better lifestyle. They wanted to eat health, build immunity, take care of their mental health and be fit,” says Bajaj. “That is when we thought of a wellness challenge that was holistic, all encompassing and, at the same time, fun,” adds Arpreet.
And all of this from the comfort of your homes and by expert instructors like Cyrus Khan, a parkour expert and Ria Bajaj, a great aerialist.
At the onset of the challenge, Studio23’s team initiates you into a small group on WhatsApp that you feel you belong to and are responsible to. When you see fellow participants and instructors put in so much hard work, you won’t want to slack.
To make things easy and simple, they have carefully curated a book of yummy and healthy recipes, which you can refer to, as they give you meal recommendations every day. That, for me, is a big plus. It takes away the stress of planning meals.
They have two live workout sessions every week. One covers cardio, strength and conditioning and another, mobility and flexibility. And in these, the instructors give a great deal of importance on exercise form as well, which is extremely crucial to make your workout more effective and to avoid injuries.
And I am particularly impressed by this bit. I have attended many online sessions and gym trainings, but nobody has ever been so meticulous about the form.
Apart from the two live sessions, you are given different exercise routine videos for the rest of the week, which you can do at your convenience without ever getting bored. They also have Yoga nidra and meditation session and now plan to also include sound healing sessions.
Variety, that’s another thing that works very well for me.
In the two weeks of the challenge, I found new love for bajra, jowar and nachni rotis and bhakris. I realised that cutting off gluten (something I would have never done if not for the lifestyle challenge) means trimming your waist line. My skin and hair feel nourished and soft from drinking four litres of water every day. The workouts have already begun to improve my body posture, flexibility, strength and stamina. I have become more active, feel more energetic and do not crave for that cup of afternoon tea and coffee to power through the rest of the day. And no more wrist or back aches.
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