Whether we are bodies with minds or minds with bodies is a question philosophers have debated for millennia, but it’s only in the past decade that scientific and medical circles have begun to accept the idea that emotions affect health and vice-versa. And over the past 20 months, this mind-body connection became clearer than ever as the unique circumstances of the covid-19 pandemic prompted people to find ways to stay sane while staying home.
Many discovered the benefits of regular exercise to feel as well as look good. It wasn’t just about the aesthetics of trying to fit into a pair of beloved trousers. Apart from having a bit more time to spend on a walk or a Pilates session, working out was also about ensuring health, immunity and well-being. And as gyms shut down, classes moved online and the home fitness market grew by leaps and bounds, with people investing in equipment, weights and mats.
Also read: The changing face of fitness
But behavioural changes can be short-lived—and now that routines are slowly returning to normal, are we likely to give up the lifestyle changes we have made? That’s what Lounge set out to understand in this week’s cover story, which examines the future of the fitness industry in India and explores which lockdown trends are likely to survive. Our vote is for the online class—no worry about keeping up with the willow on the next yoga mat who seems to bend and twist effortlessly with the wind; if you miss the 6am class, you can always make the 6.30 one without fuss; and when the going gets too tough, you can plead a bad internet connection and drop out.
Quite a few stories in this issue look at life after the pandemic—one of our columnists tackles re-entry anxiety, or the awkwardness and fear of meeting people again. Another writer wonders whether and when the experiences of the past months will transform into the Great Pandemic Novel.
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