The Skipping Sikh’ Urges People To Stay Active Amid COVID-19 Spread

During the coronavirus lockdown, a grandfather who has been given the nickname, 'The Skipping Sikh' encouraged...

“Skipping brings me a lot of joy and I want to share that happiness,” says Rajinder Singh.

During the coronavirus lockdown, a grandfather who has been given the nickname, 'The Skipping Sikh' encouraged folks to pick up a rope and keep exercising. Rajinder Singh, 73, is complying with the UK lockdown, but he, like others his age, self-isolated at home to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. 

A resident of Middlesex, he said that he wanted to encourage older people like him to know that they can be fit even from inside their homes. He added, “ Skipping is an all-round exercise and I want to show other people my age – and of any age – that you can still exercise even if you are self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Keeping people motivated in isolated times

While the waves of the pandemic slowed everything down and restricted everyone to their homes, Rajinder did not let it prevent him from staying active. He is a retired driver who has always been a keen runner and has done marathons. He usually takes part in the park run that is done weekly, and also volunteers as a buggy driver for anyone who struggles to walk from one end of the park to the other. 

As a fitness enthusiast, he urged others, especially those who belonged to the South Asian and Sikh communities, to join him in his passion and love for skipping. He further shares that skipping is one exercise that does not need strength, just stamina. He says, “With coronavirus, people are stuck inside, especially if they are my age, and isolating themselves. The problem is that it can make some people a bit lazy and others will be thinking: ‘what can I do in my spare time?”. To this he said, “Skipping brings me a lot of joy and I want to share that happiness.

With his videos getting popular on social media, his daughter Min said that many people told her that it was a heartwarming experience to see her father continuing to promote physical activity at his age. It inspired a lot of people to start skipping or starting with some other physical activity. She said, “ It just started as a bit of fun when I posted the video of my dad skipping, but it has gone viral worldwide and we have received so many positive messages of support.

Rajinder’s unfettered spirit to encourage a healthy lifestyle 

Min claims that her parents' actions are fun yet there is a serious message about the value of exercise behind them, especially in their community. The Sikh community follows the principle of service, which is expressed through langar or free meals for everyone in the gurudwara. It is vegetarian and delicious, but full of ghee and other fattening elements. A lot of Sikh people who go to the gurudwara, especially the older generation, suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. To balance it out, physical activity is important. It helps to stay fit, and healthy. And this is precisely what ‘The Skipping Sikh’ aims to achieve. 

Min shares her father’s fitness regime and said, “My dad has never been one to overeat and loves all forms of exercise. He set the skipping challenge to encourage people to get off their sofas and exercise. I am so proud of my parents and it’s lovely the way they have created so much positivity during a really sad time.

There were times when people told Rajinder Singh that he was wasting his time and energy, and should not continue skipping at his age. However, he persisted. His goal was to inspire those around him to stay healthy, happy, and motivated even when stuck at home during the lockdown. Filled with hope, Rajinder said, “It makes me happy in my mind as I know I am doing something positive to keep fit and I will carry on encouraging other people to do it.

Without a doubt, Rajinder has been spreading the spirit of Sikhism across social media. He reflects hope, positivity, and the urge to live and spread happiness that the Sikh faith corroborates. It is his willpower and positive outlook toward life that encourages people to follow a healthy lifestyle against all odds. 

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