New Delhi, March 20: India and Chennaiyin FC star Anirudh Thapa's usual off-season routine involves a number of outdoor activities but the coronavirus pandemic has forced him to do just yoga and stretching exercises at home.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has led to more than 8,000 deaths and has left over 200,000 infected across the world.
"On a normal day I would go cycling or trekking in the mornings and then in the evenings, I enjoy playing some light football with my friends, which is fun and also helps me remain fit.
"Now though, I start my day with stretching exercises and later in the day, I do core exercises and at times, yoga as well," the 22-year-old midfielder said.
The youngster urged people to take "adequate precautions" with the pandemic infecting over 150 people in India besides three deaths.
"It's a time for me to take a break and spend time with family. It is extremely important to take adequate precautions to stay safe and I encourage everyone to follow the guidelines and play their roles in containing the disease," he said.
With the latest edition of the Hero Indian Super League completed, it is time for the players to recharge their batteries and prepare themselves for the next campaign.
For Thapa, who hails from Dehradun, the "right kind" of rest after a long season is important.
"It is important to get the right kind of rest. One recovers physically but it takes time to recover mentally. Back-to-back matches, travelling, etc. all takes its toll.
"It is important to remain fresh mentally. Spending time at home with my family and friends always helps and helps take my mind off football, which helps me get a fresh start," the former AIFF Academy cadet added.
The midfielder was a key figure in Chennaiyin FC's fine run to the final of the ISL.
"It was a dramatic season with Chennaiyin FC. But we couldn't get the happy ending we wanted. I don't focus on my individual performance much but this season was satisfactory, overall.
"As compared to the last 2-3 seasons, there has been an improvement and I can see the progression myself. My assists, passing accuracy, fitness levels - have all gone up, which is a positive sign," he maintained.