Ludek Podolan is a solution engineer at Mitsubishi Electric Czech Republic. His main responsibility is to provide pre- and after-sales customer support for the company’s factory automation products and computerized numerical controllers.
Ludek’s favorite activity to refresh himself remains the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic: doing early morning exercise before work.
"Before the pandemic, three times a week in the early morning, I went to the gym for a workout or jogged in the park," he says. "This was how I warmed up for the day."
Here in the Czech Republic, like other countries across the world, the pandemic has changed the way people live. And Ludek has been forced to change his morning habit slowly and slightly; he now mainly works out at home instead of the gym.
Ludek is a true sports enthusiast. Not only does he do early morning exercise, but he also enjoys many other sports such as inline skating, cycling, and hiking in his free time, especially when summer is approaching. Yes, physical activities are his ultimate way to get refreshed.
"My routine only has positive effects on my mind and body," he explains. "To do some exercise before work, I have to wake up early—like at 5:30 AM. That makes it necessary for me to live a disciplined life." Given that the Czech Republic is famous for its tasty beer, it must be so hard to resist its foamy, golden temptation.
"After a workout, I feel refreshed. And I feel happier and calmer. That’s because moving your body releases endorphins into your bloodstream," he continues as if he were a brain scientist. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that produce feelings of happiness and calmness.
This must be why Ludek can keep his mind and body healthy even during the pandemic. In a world dominated by coronavirus stories, we tend to find ourselves doing what is called "doomscrolling" or "doomsurfing": the act of compulsively scouring the internet for upsetting news about the pandemic. And this can lead some to feel anxious and depressed.
"I know what you mean. People feel anxious and depressed sometimes—especially at times like this. And I’m no exception," he says. "That’s why I always try to spend more time outside and less time inside—in front of the computer. While I’m moving my body outside, all my negative thoughts go away."
The Czech Republic is full of green spaces. About one-third of its land area is covered by beautiful forests. And its four national parks give visitors easy access to great nature. Probably, this is another motivator for Ludek to go outside for exercise.
"Breathe some fresh air and you can literally get refreshed," he says in a confident voice that shows how well it works.
Ludek started his career at the company as a technical support engineer for robotic applications. While in that position, he had several chances to get involved in projects to develop highly sophisticated robots. Since then, robots have been in his heart.
"So, my favorite product from our line is the new collaborative robot called MELFA ASSISTA," he says. "I like this robot in many ways: just to name a few, its shape doesn’t have any sharp edges for safety purposes; it has an LED strip light that notifies the operator about its status; and it’s easy to program."