Fitness icons today are no longer just celebrities or bodybuilders. Men and women from established careers are reshaping their career paths to not just remain fit personally but also become fitness icons and mentor others. Earlier, fitness was limited to models and celebrities but now things have changed. More and more people are resorting to this concept of looking and staying fit.
“A celebrity or a movie star may be fit because their profession demands it. But being healthy and working out should be a part of life anyway. That's how my fitness journey started”, says, Ajay Chirala, a real estate biggie and a gym enthusiast. “You should not wait for the New Year to start a fitness regime,” says the man who holds a gym membership in over 5 gyms in the city and also mentors young fitness enthusiasts to shape their bodies for modelling pageants and fitness competitions.
Today even older people, housewives and new mothers are equally bitten by the fitness bug. Just working out in the gym does not define fitness. Fitness can be in any form like Zumba, Tai Chi or Yoga.
Many global corporations have now installed in-house fitness centres and hold fitness tests as part of their HR activities to ascertain people's health profile and form sporting teams that compete with other corporates in well-designed sporting events.
"I try to go for a run at least two or three times a week and I see a lot of old people and youngsters who are into walking", says Priya Selvaraj, mother of three, doctor and a Yogini. "Fitness should also involve healthy eating habits and lifestyle. Nowadays, the beach too has transformed into a mini-workout area. We can see a lot of people working out at the beach in the mornings". Priya has thanks to her fitness routine managed to be titled Mrs Chennai and even selected for other international pageants despite her busy career as the owner of two premium hospitals in Chennai.
People have started becoming aware of the ill effects of sedentary life. 15 years ago Chennai did not have the number of gyms that it has today.
Surakshith Battina, doctor and a fitness enthusiast says, "People have stopped giving excuses about the lack of time or being too busy to improve their quality of life. Social media is inspiring people to check their lifestyle, eating habits and workout regimes when they see celebrities and influencers resorting to better health practices". Surakshith is a lifestyle coach who between his busy Medico career of performing surgeries also doubled up as a showstopper at city events and coach for city youngsters looking at a breakthrough in fitness competitions.
The hospitality industry is now following the trend too. Even smaller hotels are providing gyms for their guests. Residential complexes nowadays house a gym in their premises.
"Every person should spend an hour a day for themselves. This helps to reduce physical and emotional stress. Fitness should not be a short term journey", says Divya Nagarajan, a garment and accessory designer and fitness freak who has become a go-to inspirational speaker within her group of friends....