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Fitness awareness building up

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FIT AND FINE: Members sweat it out at a gym in Anna Nagar West.
FIT AND FINE: Members sweat it out at a gym in Anna Nagar West.

K. Lakshmi

Shopping for fitness equipment is the trend as people show a preference for home gyms

CHENNAI: From swanky gymnasiums with imported equipment to gyms that run on shoe-string budgets, the city offers several choices for the health- and fitness-conscious.

The notion that gymnasiums were only for body builders has undergone a tremendous change in the last few years as awareness about fitness has seen a steady rise, especially among women, say representatives of city fitness centres.

Shopping for fitness equipment is also a trend, as home gyms are being preferred by several people.

Fitness director of O2 Ernest Vijay said people of different ages — from 15 years to 75 years — enrol for fitness programmes. Women and children usually prefer group activities such as aerobics and dance therapy.

He said that working out under the supervision of a fitness instructor is a must during the initial few months of exercise. Certified fitness instructors are mandatory to ensure proper training. “We have tied up with universities abroad to offer certification courses.”

Director (communications) of FitnessOne Ameeta Agnihotri said ‘Pink’, a centre exclusively for women, had been set up in Anna Nagar. Light weight equipment is available here. “The clients undergo a screening process to check their fitness level and exercise accordingly,” she added.

While the high-end gyms cost at least Rs.1, 200 per month, smaller neighbourhood gyms charge as low as Rs. 150 per month. Murali Rajagopal, a district-level body building champion, is a regular at a gym in Padi. He said that equipment such as hydraulic exercise machines and power treadmills were available only in the bigger gyms.

“Though it is risky to work out on one’s own, it would work out cheaper for regular gymmers and body builders,” he said. P. Kannan, a regular visitor, said that about 50 persons used the free facility every day.

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