The UK is returning to tight restrictions in which millions of people will need to stay at home. Like the spring lockdown, this will result in people becoming isolated.
Also, millions of people are going to move less, resulting in a surge of sedentary lifestyle-related conditions which means the obesity pandemic will continue to spiral.
Related to obesity is type 2 diabetes, a condition which is 6 times more prevalent in South Asians compared to European ethnic groups.
The coronavirus crisis has disproportionately affected South Asians, who are hospitalised with Covid-19 disease at a larger rate than Europeans. In fact, approximately 350 out of 1,000 South Asians die in hospital, compared to 290 white people, according to a BBC report.
The lack of physical activity in South Asian communities really cannot be helping the situation, “Around 40% of South Asian patients had either type 1 or type 2 diabetes compared with 25% of white groups,” the report added.
Now, in order to ensure a healthy lifestyle, pungra.fit encourages free Exercise Together sessions, in which people are motivated to follow exercise videos made to Punjabi music. These will take place from 1 PM to 1:20 PM every day (Monday to Friday) during the lockdown. The exercise routine can continue for a long if people start enjoying it more.
So far, there have been 15 sessions in which people have joined and said: “The 20mins goes faster when I’m doing it with you guys. Must be the fun factor.” Other comments include “it’s a great way to connect with others”, “it motivates me to join when I know other people are” and “it is great to be able to influence the songs in the videos when they’re next recorded.
Pungra was founded by Ravi Sandhu, and is the only group exercise to Punjabi music instructor in the team. He is also the only person with a fitness industry-recognized qualification with a specialism in Punjabi music.
Ravi said: “It saddens me to see many people who are not qualified as fitness instructors teaching classes through platforms like Zoom and charging people who desperately need to be connected in these times. Worse still, they are streaming Punjabi music illegally through Zoom (source EMD UK and PRS For Music)”.
“I want to see a world in which people aren’t taken advantage of in this way, where costs are kept to a minimum and music is used legally. People just need to have their TV, mobile phone, internet connection, and they’re good to go – no hidden charges”, he added.
Pungra believes strongly in creating exercise videos regularly, publishing them freely to YouTube and enabling people to exercise from home, “we’ll go out of our way to record videos and exercise in fitness centres, so that you don’t have to – especially people who are shielding or living in households with multiple generations”. All Pungra club members will exercise conveniently in their own homes.
People can visit pungra.fit for all the details, including how to join the club. Once they are in the club, they will see Pungra Activators promoting their clubs, choose to join the clubs they want to connect with. Moreover, people are also welcome to set up their clubs as Activator and promote them in the Facebook Group.