Pages: Jana’s tips

John Z. Pages

AS BAD as Covid-19 is, what’s good is our children are home. Our only child Jana Marie, now on her fifth year at the Ateneo de Manila (she’s the school’s tennis team captain), is home and I asked her to write the piece for today.

Here’s Jana:

I laughed when I heard President Duterte say, “Ikot-ikot lang muna kayo sa bahay, baka may hindi pa kayo napupuntahan.” It’s a funny thing to think about — to go around the house as if it were a new destination. Though I’m not a fan of the president, he makes sense. ALA Boxing and Anytime Fitness branches are closed. Zumba and yoga sessions are put on hold. Spinning classes are not spinning. You are stuck at home.

Let me step in and change one word: You are not stuck at home. You are SAFE at home. Yes, you don’t have access to the amenities that allow for your regular routine, but here’s some good news: you don’t need a gym to exercise.

Get creative! Luckily for us, there’s a whole other world that exists without the Covid-19: cyberspace. There are so many online platforms that can continue to keep you fit.

YouTube, for example, can be your portal back into the world of fitness. YouTube offers a huge variety of exercises, from pilates to indoor cycling to boxing to hiphop dancing. You can get your family together and join an online zumba class (with social distancing, of course), do some planks or squats in your room, jumping jacks or burpees in your sala, or go jogging with your dogs (as my parents and I do every afternoon).

Working out at home may not be as effective as being in a gym with other people, but we have to work with what we have. Exercising at home also has many benefits. You save money (no gym membership needed!), you don’t need to buy equipment (you can use a five-kilo rice sack in exchange for dumbells), you control the time and length of your workout, the music that is played and you’ll save a lot of time and energy not having to worry about what you’re wearing.

Exercise also doesn’t mean you’re stuck only with the physical stuff; it can also mean working out the one organ of your body that will keep you going when all the rest fail: your brain. You can learn to do almost anything online.

One time, when I wanted to try cooking, I watched a Tasty video on Facebook and tried to copy what they were doing (my finished product didn’t taste so good, but that’s not the point). We literally have all the information we need at our fingertips.

Learn something that you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time to. Online, you interact with a virtual teacher and you can pause to go to the bathroom anytime or rewind if there was something you didn’t understand.

This is all a scary and uncertain time for all of us. Yes, there are many things that are out of our control. But there are things that are very much in our control — like our optimism and resourcefulness. It’s not the best scenario, but as of the moment, we have to learn to bloom where we are planted.

Ikot-ikot muna tayo sa bahay.