Bhutan sees a fitness craze after COVID-19

After the closure of all entertainment centers and gyms in the country due to the pandemic, there is an increase in the number of men and women and the youth going for morning and evening walks, or even hiking and trekking during the weekends to holy places and lhakhangs.

Some of them said that they started taking up the walks as a physical fitness routine after the COVID-19 pandemic. They said they were bored staying idle at home all day. Some of them shared that they never thought such a physical activity would be fun because they were fully occupied with social gathering, partying and barhopping the whole night, which led to bad hangover the next day, forcing them to stay in bed the whole day. Many of the youth said they want continue with the physical fitness routine even after the pandemic.

A civil servant, Kinley Tenzin, said that it is good to see many new faces, especially the youth, coming out for walks. This is one positive lifestyle change due to the pandemic.

“No matter how people are sensitized on the importance of such practice, people don’t want to do it so. They just want to be home or partying. I force my children to go but they would never listen because they feel that the walks are for the elderly people,” he added.

A private employee, Tshering Zangmo, goes for evening walks regularly. She shared that the pandemic has many people taking charge of their health. The walks and hikes are a healthy way to stay fit.

She said, “The number would have increased, maybe due to the closure of entertainment centers and closure of shops by 7 pm. This somehow brings families together where they take a walk together like never before.” She added that people now have less distractions and can spend quality time with the family.

A college student, Tashi, said, “I started going for walks and hikes after the closure of the party places. I was bored of staying home. I like partying. The first week after the closure of party places, I felt I was going mad. I tried playing games online but that didn’t help. I have seen people taking walks and I decided to do so.”

He experienced much joy in the walks as it felt refreshing and healthy. Following the walks, he started going on hikes to holy places during the weekends, which has double benefits, he added.

“I will continue with the walks in the future, even after the opening of parties. This helps me both physically and mentally,” he added.

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