What motivates you to keep fit and work out every day?I am a retired Army Officer. As is known to everyone, army life is very different from civilian life. We are ingrained with a time set routine, discipline, focus and consistency in our daily life right from the beginning. .Keeping the "self" fit is an individual's responsibility. When serving in the Armed Forces, a person may have to render his or her services in different terrains and weather conditions. We are trained to beat the varying temperatures. To be able to do that, physical fitness is indispensable. I used to get up at 4:30 in the morning, do static exercises such as static running, jogging and stretching at one place and would go for 5 Km of run every day. Mer the warm up session, we would go through a series of drills and exercises to improve our motor skills as wells as muscle strength. This used to be my routine even during my service at a sub-zero temperature at a high altitude place. We were discouraged from talking while exercising and were encouraged to focus on our exercises and breathing.How fitness is essential for all age groups?Staying active and fit should be imbibed in the very fibre of our being. It has a domino effect on our well-being and self-esteem. If we exercise every day and stay active throughout the day, it helps in the digestion of the food, improves immunity, promotes muscle strength, relieves joint pains and stiffness and helps us keep our mind free from distraction, stress and negative thoughts. The opposite of this happens when we do not exercise. Regular physical activity helps children for better channelization of their energy levels. It helps the adults to build the strength and immunity to carry on different tasks of their lives. Lastly, it helps the elderly to stay motivated, self-reliant and avoid age-related health conditions. Along with this, eating a healthy and balanced diet at all stages of life will fuel one's goal to lead a healthy and fulfilled life.Could you please explain in detail your fitness routine?I get up early in the morning and do light static exercises such as running or jogging at one place. Then I sit on my stationary bike and set my preferred pace of cycling for the day and cycle accordingly. I exercise in the morning and I also exercise whenever I get the time. After all, some activity is better than none. I ensure that I exercise at least once a day and sometimes twice a day.How do you balance your meals with your exercise?I eat a balanced and healthy diet in moderation in quantity and calories. I eat all seasonal vegetables and fruits keeping in mind carbohydrate control and prefer home-cooked meals only. I do not binge on irregular eating and avoid junk or deep-fried foods. I listen to what my body needs and eat accordingly. It has become a way of life.How fitness is helpful in COVID limes?Fitness is of great importance, especially during the COVID pandemic. It helps people stay motivated and healthy while staying indoors. Fitness plays a different role in each person's life. In uninfected people, it helps keep the risk of severe illness at bay. In people who have got the infection and are currently recovering, mild physical activity along with a healthy diet would help speed up their recovery, improve breathing capacity and keep them motivated. In people who have recovered from COVID 19 disease, diet and exercise help in rehabilitation. So, people of all age and health conditions should consult their Physician and Physiotherapist to know the best fitness regime for them.Dr (Brig.) Anil P Pandit is the Chief Medial Director of Chellaram Hospital Diabetes Care and Multi speciality.