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I enjoy sport — cricket, badminton, tennis or auto racing, ifsitting in the comforts of my sofa while cheering on my favourite sport stars’ moments count.

It is difficult not to love sport when the television is perpetually tuned on to one or the other sports channels where experts are delineating the technical details of a match or a race followed by a further discussion of the same by the in-house experts — the husband and Sid, during mealtimes leaving me lost and tongue-tied.

It is not entirely my fault for you see I can rattle off about ten names of engineers under one minute that only the maternal side of my family has contributed to the world, but I would be left jogging my memory for hours to pick up at least one blood relative who has attempted any sort of sport, let alone excel in one. Let’s just say that we chose a book over a cricket bat or a racket!

As for the husband, he takes sports so seriously that he swears that playing his favourite sport — badminton makes him feel so real and that real life actually feels like a hobby pursued on the other side.

I am not much of a talker, but not one to be left tongue-tied in a conversation either, so I have sat through Sid’s tennis classes and the husband’s badminton tournaments with my most trusted mate — Google, who has been helpfully throwing light on facts like the tennis court measures 36 by 78 feet while the badminton court is smaller measuring 20 by 44 feet. I am yet to put a racket to a ball or a shuttlecock but at least I know the technical difference.

I have understood that sport is not all about the scores and strategies for it teaches you character. Sport teaches you to play by the rules, to accept your defeat and move on after you have learnt from your mistakes and stay grounded as you enjoy basking in the glory of victory.

Sport is a life teacher! I had managed to juggle in a brisk morning or evening walk up until the Dubai Fitness Challenge last year, when I took up jogging inspired by the many couples who juggled routines, children and went against time to include a 30-minute exercise regimen into their daily routine.

Muscle cramps and aches

I must admit that it took me a couple of days to appreciate the goodness of exercise for during the first few days even the endorphins didn’t help post the jog and a few floor exercises. The children were both delighted and mildly traumatised watching me limping about with muscle cramps and aches, wincing in pain while attempting to lift a painfully sore arm to toss food in the general direction of my mouth.

It took all of a week’s persistence in keeping it up to enjoy the benefits of an exercise routine and be treated to a good dose of endorphins that cleared away cobwebs that had strayed in through the day. With the Dubai Fitness Challenge this month and cooler days ahead, it is time we get up from the couch, dust off those running shoes and sweatpants and get set for a month-long journey on the road to fitness and better health. Exercise of the body and activity of the mind are touted to be the one-step cure for nearly everything in life and there sure is a 30-minute fitness regimen best suited for each one of us.

Love yourself enough to pull up your socks and take up the challenge. Together we can turn fitness into a way of life, one step at a time!

Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai.