Septuagenarian in UK posts lockdown exercise videos to inspire elderly Sikhs – Times of India


LONDON: A 73-year-old British Sikh is posting videos of himself on social media skipping and doing other exercises during the UK lockdown to inspire other elderly Sikhs in isolation to stay active.
A week ago, Rajinder Singh’s daughter Min Kaur, 39, started recording his videos doing the exercises in his allotment, which she uploaded on YouTube. She has created a channel for him called ‘Raj Skipping Sikh’ and is planning a group skipping session on Zoom next.
“The message is you can just exercise at home — that is what people love. It is not just elderly Sikhs, lots of young Sikhs and people outside the community are taking part. It is bringing everyone together, and people of all ages. If by doing this we can help our own community and take pressure off the NHS, that is a positive thing since Asian people often have problems of cholesterol and high blood pressure,” she said, adding, “We just want to help the community stay fit. Many are getting a skipping rope for the first time.”
Singh, a native of Devi Dass Pura in Punjab’s Amritsar district, moved to the UK in his 20s with his mother. His father stayed in Punjab. “My late father, Makhan, was in the Army. He taught me lots of different exercises like running, skipping and weights. I have been keeping fit ever since,” said Singh, who lives in Hillingdon.
“Skipping is something you can do indoors and outside. You spend much more energy skipping rather than running. It suits elderly people as you can do it slowly or fast, he said, adding, “My stamina is very good, like a young lad.”
Apart from skipping, Singh has created videos of himself doing squats with watering cans and milk bottles in his allotment to build body strength. “My shed is full of stuff — pieces of wood, bricks. There are so many things you can use, there is no need for special equipment. I have Simran (sacred names or mantras) in the background. I don’t listen to bhangra,” he explained. “I put a mat down because you can’t jump on the grass.”
All UK gurdwaras have been shut owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left many elderly Sikhs at a bit of a loss. “We used to get together every weekend at the gurdwara for food and to listen to the holy songs, but now it is difficult staying at home and I feel it as well,” said Singh. “I would say people appreciate my videos. Some people have never skipped before.”
His next batch of videos will show him “jumping fences, cutting grass by hand, lifting logs, putting bricks here and there, walking the allotment and clearing rubbish.”


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