Actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s sudden death after a workout at the gym has cast its shadow on the gym and fitness industry in Mysuru, which had barely begun coming into its own after the setback from COVID-19.
While the turnout at the gyms and fitness centres on Saturday, a day after Puneeth died, was very poor, the owners and managers are hoping for the attendance to improve from Monday. The topic of discussion even among the few, who turned up for training on Saturday, centred around the actor’s untimely death and the impact of high-intensity and strenuous exercises on the heart.
Describing Puneeth’s death as unfortunate, Sreejith, who runs a fitness centre in Bannimantap, said he was wary of unfounded rumours that could hurt the industry that took a big hit during the lockdown. A fan of the Kannada actor, Mr. Sreejith said people may start using the tragedy as an excuse to stay away from daily exercise.
However, he pointed out that medical advice has remained in favour of daily exercise even after the actor’s demise. “Doctors have only cautioned people against crossing limits and overworking that strains the heart. Exercise in moderation does not harm anybody, but will only be beneficial,” said Mr. Sreejith, who has been training people for more than two decades now.
Meanwhile, Harsha, president, Mysuru Gym Owners and Fitness Centres’ Association, ruled out the possibility of people discontinuing their exercise because of Puneeth’s death. He was hopeful of people returning to their gyms in the coming days. He said necessary steps would be taken by the association to ensure that gym-goers are strictly evaluated for any medical history and counselled before admission so that a suitable exercise schedule is followed. It will also ensure that gym trainers are qualified and possess a formal certificate from a reputed training institute.
Mr. Harsha said that the association has started a month-long Fit Mysuru campaign, starting from November 1, offering a two-day free training to people at any of its 250-member gyms. It seeks to create an awareness about exercise and educate the public about fitness and following a healthy diet and lifestyle. “This campaign is also aimed at busting myths about gyms and fitness industry,” he said.
He said the camp is open to everybody above the age of 6. Apart from lifting weights, people will also be exposed to Zumba, dance, yoga, aerobics etc., he said.