Perspiration, Respiration, Inspiration, Aspiration

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Dr. Rajat Chauhan was invited by Outlook magazine to contribute to a special edition - Children & The Pandemic.

Outlook magazine managed to assemble an excellent set of contributors – top names, good new names – Paediatricians, Educators, Psychologists, Counsellors, Psychiatrists, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Nutritionists, Policy makers, author – publisher, and Bharatanatyam exponent – choreographer – mentor – research worker.

Our very own Dr. Rajat Chauhan was invited by Outlook to contribute to the special edition – Children & The Pandemic for what physical inactivity and being locked up has done to the children during this pandemic and what do we do henceforth. Mukul Oberoi is the co-author of the column and an integral part of the whole project.

You can click below to read our column in Outlook’s collector’s issue. Please feel free to share with all the parents, teachers and counsellors.

Team La Ultra, from putting together the world’s cruelest race, where, since 2010 we have been making runners from 23 countries achieve supposedly Impossible distances, ranging from 111 to 555 kms, from the very outset of the pandemic last year, we, have been guiding everyone to get moving, which again seemed like an Impossible task to begin with. Ordinary folks are yet again doing extraordinary things, one move at a time. We have been putting together ‘do-anywhere-online‘ sessions in different avatars for ages ranging from 5 to 75 years. Now we want everyone to be part of this. And that’s our vision, to make school students pan-India, along with their parents, grandparents and teachers, to get off their backsides and start moving. With a smile on. Enjoying every moment of it.

For those who don’t know what La Ultra – The High is all about, watch this video.

For this project we spoke to a lot of parents, children, leading educators and counsellors. Thank you all.

Here is a video we put together. Thanks a million miles Chetan Sehgal, Mukul Oberoi and Barry Walton for making the video look really super awesome.

Those who we couldn’t cover in this video, we have put pearls of wisdom from them below.

You can click below to read Outlook’s collector’s issue. Please feel free to share with all the parents, teachers and counsellors.

For, this pandemic has been a decidedly adult affair. They (adults) have behaved as if it is their catastrophe: they have taken stock, they have counted their losses, they have decided what to do and what not to, they have lamented and legislated on their fate. Nobody asked the children.
— Sunil Menon, Managing Editor, Outlook magazine

“For, this pandemic has been a decidedly adult affair. They (adults) have behaved as if it is their catastrophe: they have taken stock, they have counted their losses, they have decided what to do and what not to, they have lamented and legislated on their fate. Nobody asked the children.”

— Sunil Menon, Managing Editor, Outlook magazine

Regular exercise under lockdown is not only a must for the mental health of our children, but also for their ability to perform in other areas of life.
Enhanced screen time only increases their dopamine levels and leads to hyperactivity and excess stimulation. Government and educational institutions have added to their anxiety, due to the lack of clarity on everything, from admissions to kindergarten to conduct of board examinations for school leavers and entrance exams to undergraduate courses for young adults.
— Shweta Puri, a Delhi based psychologist specialising in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy & more of 14 yr old twins

“Enhanced screen time only increases their dopamine levels and leads to hyperactivity and excess stimulation. Government and educational institutions have added to their anxiety, due to the lack of clarity on everything, from admissions to kindergarten to conduct of board examinations for school leavers and entrance exams to undergraduate courses for young adults.”

— Shweta Puri, a Delhi based psychologist specialising in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy & more of 14 yr old twins

The second wave has been extremely challenging for children, as the transmissibility of the Delta variant is high within households.

Below is a video where Nupur and Richard talk about their experience as parents during the pandemic.

Later last year, when things started improving, my husband and their father, Richard, started to take them out to play once a day. They would run on the grass and do squat jumps and other exercises. Their mood picked up. As much as we are in the business of sports for children, we now realise firsthand how important physical activity was for them.
— Child psychologist Nupur Dhingra Paiva, co-founder of Art of Sport and mother of 12 and 9 year olds
Enhanced screen time increases their dopamine lev- els and leads to hyperactiv- ity and excess stimulation.
We consider our 40-strong sports staff at the same level as other teaching staff in both status and salary. They have been using technology to build online curricula to get our students moving during lockdowns. Of course, the experience is limited by the constraints of indoor space and lack of interaction. We have 3-4 counsellors in each school, as mental health is crucial. The teams work together on physical and mental health, as one can’t be separated from the other.
— Col. Gopal Karunakaran, the CEO of Shiv Nadar schools and executive director of Shiv Nadar University

Dr. Rajat had a in-depth discussion with the core team of the Shiv Nadar Schools: Col. Gopal Karunakaran, CEO; Ms. Shashi Banerjee, Principal (Noida); Ms. Monica Sagar, Principal (Gurgaon); Ms. Noora Sinha, Head – Well-being & Counselling (Noida) and Ms. Jenny Gandhi, Head – Counselling (Gurgaon). Below are some of the pearls of wisdom.

We have a strong sports programme that is more of a philosophy and belief. We don’t separate academics from sports. There is a transference of skills to excel in life. Sports are ingrained in our pedagogy and we instil the belief not only in our students, but also in their parents and our teachers. During Covid-19 lockdowns, our sports instructors shared videos of exercises, sports skills and rhythm with all students, so that their connection with a physically active campus life is not severed.
— Anju Wal, director and principal of Shiv Nadar School in Faridabad

Barry Walton, Director of ‘the award winning ‘Empty America’ & ‘The High’ put together a video for the cause of getting kids moving during this pandemic.

The Vermas, Shalini and Chetan, along with their boys, Vardaan and Shaurya, have been active throughout the pandemic. Below they share their experience through these tough times.

Below is a video to give you an idea of what is PUSH about. Just keep some basics right and you are all good.

Follow K.I.S.S. philosophy, i.e. Keep It Simple & Smile. It needs to be fun. Structure helps but is overrated. The moment it feels like chore, we’ve lost the main purpose. It should always be PLAY in whatever we suggest and make them do. We, as parents, need to lead by example.

Below is a video of Kids at PUSH.

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