Just like many of us, Pragya Jha, a student and fitness enthusiast, also became disappointed when the coronavirus-induced lockdown was announced in March. But soon she realised that while staying home, one can make the best use of one’s time. She kept herself busy throughout the quarantine days with whatever she loves.
As schools, colleges and offices are lying closed, while some are moderately being operated through work/study-at-home via online chats and video conferencing mode, Pragya felt that we must pay close attention to these time. They won’t come back. And this lockdown is an opportunity to ensure that we stay busy at home doing the things that we love.
In this candid interview with TheCheckerNews, Pragya shares about her life goals, ambition, quarantine days at home, and also a few useful tips on how to stay mentally and physically fit these days. She also suggested various ways through which we can keep mental health-related issues like depression, anxiety and stress at bay.
Here are the interview excerpts!
Hi Pragya! Welcome to TheCheckerNews.Com. Please introduce yourself to our audience.
Hi, I am Pragya Jha and I am a final semester engineering student in Bangalore.
Now that all schools, colleges and offices are closed, it’s really tough to stay home and spend time. What are you doing these days to stay self-motivated? How can people avoid boredom at home?
Ans: In the starting days, my days were filled with boredom, but then I started analyzing my full day routine and I found that I am absolutely wasting so many days. This is the phase in which we got to stay at home and we don’t have to go anywhere. Thus I think it is the best time to work on self-improvement. I don’t want to look back to these days and regret saying, “Damn! I had an opportunity.”
To avoid boredom, we can do what our actual hobby is, like one may be interested in singing, other in painting, this is the best time to get indulged in your hobbies. You may have some dreams in your life, you may work upon your skills to accomplish your dreams in future.
You are quite active Quora. What other social media channels you use and why?
Ans: Apart from quora, I use Youtube and Instagram. I mostly watch youtube videos to watch any fitness related videos and through Instagram, I keep in touch with my friends.
What is your ambition in life? Are you moving in that direction?
Ans: My ambition in life to have my own fitness related startup and make common people aware of the science of health. I believe health should not be a luxury. It should be everyone’s birthright. And yes I am working upon it. The first thing I need to do for this is to gather all the knowledge related to it, and right now I am into that phase.
Are you interested in literature too? Please comment on this.
Ans: Yes, I am quite interested in literature. I often try to write some articles and poems in both Hindi and English languages. Whenever I am upset, angry or happy, I try to pour all my feelings into my writings and it really calms me down. This makes me feel that the paper and pen are really the best pair of listeners.
Due to coronavirus and lockdown, several people are complaining about mental health-related issues like depression, stress and anxiety. What advice would you like to give to our readers?
Ans: In our society, mental health of a person is widely neglected. People don’t take these issues seriously till it’s too late. Whenever you feel any such stress, try to reach out and talk to a person. If this also doesn’t help, I will recommend you to first sit and analyze what is causing so much disturbance in your mind and then work upon it.
Remember your life is the most important thing you have with you. Rest of all comes later on. You sit and try to meditate. Meditation does help. Try to control your mental illness in the starting only, else it may become too much problematic in the long run.
What are some ways to stay fit and fine? How can you plan your daily calorie intake and diet?
Ans: The first thing I would recommend is to eat clean and healthy. Nowadays we don’t think before eating anything. We just gulp down anything and everything in the name of taste. If we just enjoy the taste, we start munching on that. But atleast for a while we should sit and think, what effect this food is going to have inside our body.
I track all my foods on a food tracker app, and I always keep an eye that all my macros and main micros are proper and my calorie intake is neither too high nor too low.
You can know the desired amount of calories which you should take easily through Google or any food tracker app. Then the next thing you have to do is to lookout the macro contents in your food. Your diet should have proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibres in your daily diet. Even the micro-nutrients shouldn’t be neglected. To know about any specific food contents, you can again research and easily get to know all the information required. Keep yourself hydrated enough. Eat a lot of veggies. Eat fruits on a daily basis. Try to cut down the refined carbs such as wheat flour, white sugar etc.
Does workout really matter? What are some easy exercise techniques to retain fitness and our physical well-being?
Ans: If you want to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, you should include some workouts in your daily routine. If you don’t get enough time to workout, start using stairs instead of lift. Try to increase the number of footsteps daily. Try to maintain an active lifestyle. On weekends you can go for some outdoor sports like cricket, badminton etc. And if you get enough time for the workout, like even for 20 minutes, you can download any app from play store for working out and even plethora of such apps are available on youtube as well. You can even do Surya Namaskara. I consider this exercise as one of the most effective exercise.
Girls are highly conscious about figure and beauty. In fact, your Quora story on Weight Loss has also earned a lot of views and Upvotes. Please share your fitness and beauty secrets.
Ans: The first thing I will recommend to focus on being healthy, both from outside and inside. Don’t start your fitness journey just because so and so bullied you. Start it for yourself. If you feel that you need to do something about it, go on. Don’t just start blindly following anything. Don’t take any step without properly researching on and evaluating it. Eat clean. Hydrate yourself enough. Don’t run behind fairness as your skin tone will not define your beauty, but your healthy and glowing skin, the confidence in your look will define it.
I always try to rely on ayurveda or chemical free products in my life. Most of such products generally come costly, but you know what’s the good thing about ayurveda, you can try making them at your home with the ingredients available there with a little bit of research.
I mostly avoid outside foods. And I love munching on veggies though there was a time when I hated them but now I absolutely love them. I make sure to include at least an apple or an orange in my daily diet. For strength in my body, I keep my protein intake high and do some body-weight exercises on a regular basis.
Yeah, girls can also do those 100 push-ups challenges, do you know?
Lastly, please share a few words to motivate and inspire the Gen-Next who get demoralised and disappointed too early and with every little failure.
Ans: Imagine, you wake up in the morning with full satisfaction and look at yourself and then you smile. You feel proud that you achieved what all you desired for. Then you look back and remember a time when you were too low in your life, the future seemed too dark, but still, you were not ready to give up and you kept trying and hurrah! You did it.
Today, when you remember those days, you feel more proud of yourself that you didn’t let that temporary failure defeat you permanently. You realize that those little failures made you learn a lot of things which you can utilize in your life for always. Remember, life is not always going to be a smooth road, it will definitely have some hurdles in this, you have to keep walking despite of all those hurdles and barriers. It may take some time, but it won’t ever go in vain.
(Thanks a lot, Pragya, for sharing your thoughts with us. We wish you all the best and also hope that next time when we interact we will talk about your Fitness Start-Up as well.) All the best!
[The opinions expressed above are that of the interviewee, and TheCheckerNews may or may not share the same views as expressed above.]