CHENNAI: From a simple morning walk or jogging, the city’s residents have begun experimenting with a variety of options available to them to keep themselves fit.
Lariena Daniels, physiotherapist at SPARRC Institute, T. Nagar, said people must identify their fitness level and choose an exercise regimen accordingly. “Pilates, a form of mat exercises to tone the body, is a popular choice among fitness buffs who want to build flexibility and strengthen core muscles. Those who want a melange of fitness and entertainment go for aerobics, a group activity with upbeat music,” she said.
The latest concept of size zero and six-pack popularised by film stars have caught the fancy of the youth. Ameeta Agnihotri, Communications Director of Fitness One India Limited, said the economic downturn had affected the fitness industry by 10 to 20 per cent. But, people from all walks of life visited the centres as a sizeable amount of population suffers with lifestyle diseases.
Bollywood dance sessions wherein film dance moves are blended with stretching exercises to spice up exercise regimen are catching up too. “We also offer belly dance as part of aerobics to tone up abs. Women are increasingly aware and are interested to stay in shape,” she said.
M. Jagannathan, a fitness trainer in Kilpauk, said aero-boxing, which is a concoction of boxing techniques and aerobics, is one of the new fitness fads in the city. “It is a high-intensity and effective workout that helps people knock off extra kilos in a short span.” C. Saravanan of Stamina Fitness Centre, Kottivakkam, said the affordability of gyms has wiped off hesitance among fitness enthusiasts. The flexibility in timing has also encouraged many people, particularly IT professionals, to exercise. The city is also witnessing a growing number of showrooms selling fitness equipment as several people have begun investing in home gyms. Mohamed Zafarullah of Grand Slam Fitness Equipment, Anna Nagar, said, “People who prefer to exercise according to their time schedule buy single equipment or set up a mini-gym in their homes. Some clients are advised by doctors to use a treadmill at home.”
Treadmills and exercise cycles are the most-preferred equipment. Affordability of equipment priced from Rs.6, 500 onwards is a reason for people preferring home gyms, he added.