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Health & Fitness 24 Oct 2017

Urbanising the Future of Fitness

The idea of fitness needs a boost and what other way would be better than to urbanize it and make it assessable for all.

By Huzefa Lokhandwala Celebrity fitness coach and program director

India is the third most obese country in the world. A country where 270 million people live below the 'poverty line', obesity seems to be a distant issue, meant for the rich kids of the first world. But India is under siege: junk food, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle are leading us to silent self-destruction, making one in every five Indian men and women either obese or overweight.

It had 0.4 million obese men or 1.3% of the global obese population in 1975, but in 2014, it zoomed into the fifth position with 9.8 million obese men or 3.7% of the global population.Among women, India has jumped to the third rank with 20 million obese women (5.3% of global population). "If these trends continue, by 2025, global obesity prevalence will reach 18% in men and surpass 21% in women; severe obesity will surpass 6% in men and 9% in women," the study, led by Majid Ezzati, professor at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London said.

Some Obstacles in the Way to Fitness
We know it is difficult to motivate yourself to lose weight. Contrary to what you might expect, it's rare that people live up to those New Year's resolutions they made three months ago. Many attempts have been made to solve this problem. In the recent times, we’ve seen gyms crop up in all nooks and corners of the city and people have become health conscious. But the problem has shifted now to having the right knowledge. People who go to the gym are asked to take a personal trainer, which may or may not be in their budget. Plus, after paying a hefty gym membership fee, paying extra for personal training never sits well with a person. These members come to the gym, but not getting any assistance, nor having the proper know how to complete a workout, their energies fizzle out and they leave.  Some go back to taking walks, thinking that is enough for their fitness and some only come to do cardiovascular exercises.

The myth has grown that only when you are bodybuilding; you need to do strength training. There have been other initiatives made by individuals who wish to provide the right knowledge in terms of fitness apps and virtual trainers. Here they hope the customer is able to follow the instructions via a video demonstration, or a chat. These do not really convert to a proper fitness regime because training cannot be done virtually. You always need a physical trainer by your side that can motivate you, push you beyond your own limits and ensure that you don’t make a mistake in your form and technique. By attempting to do a workout seen in a video the chance of that workout not being appropriate for your body type might lead to injury and/or permanent damage to your body.

The other problem we face in cities, especially on in Mumbai is space. There just isn’t enough space in every locality to have a good functional gym. And even if a decent sized gym is available, it usually gets full due to the population, which leads to waiting for a machine to get free, or scheduling your workout for a time when the gym will be relatively empty.

The Innovation Ahead
The best way to urbanize fitness is to take it to people when they want it. In an age where we order everything from food to cabs online, why not your Trainer? With the convenience of having your workout at your time and your place of comfort, the problems of lack of space, knowledge and not having a personal trainer by your side are solved. Such new innovations and ideas are meant to form a strong base for the fitness industry to prosper in times to come. Technology that connects customers with the trainer who guides them o fulfil their fitness needs is an innovation worth noticing. This is the next step in the urbanisation of fitness. Let’s end the excuse, and welcome a fitter future.

This article has been authored by Huzefa Lokhandwala, Celebrity Fitness Coach and Program Director, Trainme

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