By R Anupam Pillai:
India, in this 21st century seems to be promising that there are ample possibilities for entrepreneurship to develop here. One of the recent areas of growing interest is in the fitness and the nutrition sector. In the recent years, people have become more conscious towards health and fitness. This consciousness may be due to the sedentary lifestyle of the people, which has made them more susceptible to stress and tension which deteriorates their health and thus compels them to go for either costly fitness training in several gyms, which is otherwise beyond the reach of the common people or treacherous diet plans that comes with million promises for a healthier lifestyle. But, all of this goes in vain as it only caters to the elites of the society. So, what about the vision of building a fitter India? Hence we need to be more aware and make sure we reach to the common people in order to build a healthier India.
India has been a nation replete with some mystical elements of the ancient age, where it has taught the world about a perfect blend of spirituality and fitness. Yoga is one of the oldest methods of fitness training that comprises different exercise patterns for development of the mind, body and the soul. About 5000 years old, yoga is well known for its health benefits, such as proper organ functioning and for a total well being. It was developed by priests through observing and mimicking animal movements that were essential for better functioning of the body and for a healthy lifestyle. But the plight of yoga in India is sad as it is not much in practice. We boast of the most popular yogis who have made yoga a popular fitness training style all over the world, however, it is a dying art in its very birthplace.
Secondly, in India, other fitness styles are that of Malkhambh: the art of balancing the body on a pole, Akhada: old style gyms and Kushti or wrestling. These sports used to be popular, but not anymore. Nowadays, people don’t have much time to devote to such exercises, even though these happen to be some of the most reasonable and affordable sources of fitness training.
Thirdly, in the present scenario there has been this rise in consciousness among people to have a good physique, for which they spend a lot on gym equipments, training and membership. This in a way is opening a new avenue for fitness training in India. It is very important to understand the increasing popularity of the gym culture in India, so much so that there is a need for commercialization of fitness training centres on a large level. Iconic bodybuilders such as Manohar Aich and wrestlers like Dara Singh, were among the few who have been trendsetters as far as fitness in India is concerned. Sheru Harmeet Aangrish, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in India, who has timely identified the scope of bodybuilding in the country and has transformed it into a true sport. With the increasing popularity of bodybuilding, he has a mission to transform India to a fitter nation. This can be achieved only when there is more accessibility to gyms which are equipped with proper trainers and dieticians. More awareness must be created for a better participation and outreach to the different strata of the society.
India can finally transform into a fitter nation when there exist initiatives such as Sheru classic and marathon races to attain a mass participation by the people. At the same time, Indian fitness training methods such as yoga, akhada and malkhamb must also be encouraged along with western techniques of bodybuilding with modern equipments and aerobics in order to maintain a proper balance between the two. Moreover we must also inculcate the habit of having a balanced diet. This means that the government should have a rigorous approach towards checking the health and nutrition of the population. This can be achieved by proper planning on the grounds of ‘Right to food‘ where it is compulsory for nutritious food to be provided to all sections of the society. The government must also provide concessions on food supplements so that they are within the reach of the common man. For better nutrition for children, especially infants, affordable food supplements should be available in urban as well as rural areas, as the future of the nation rests in their hands. Thus, India will definitely shine once again when people with firm determination come together and shape the future of the nation by virtue of better health and nutrition.