BENGALURU: Bengaluru has topped the fitness chart once again. The city has been tagged the healthiest in the country, according to a study conducted by GOQii, a preventive healthcare company. Agreeing with the finding that Bengaluru is the hub for fitness enthusiasts, health and fitness experts also express happiness with the way the trend is wooing youngsters. The number of youth taking up gym memberships has been increasing, and the shift was especially visible over the past year, said Shwetambari Shetty, fitness expert/master trainer at fitness centre Cure-fit.
“Earlier, people in their late 30s were more fitness conscious but now, many people in their 20s and early 30s join gyms, which have also become more accessible and affordable. With many centres opening in different localities, you can opt for one close to home or work,” Shwetambari said, calling Bengaluru the fitness capital of India. Fitness has also become a trend for people to discuss. “They are forming communities during group workouts that help them motivate each other,” she added, pointing out that the number of active members has risen to 1,300 from 200 to 300 about two years ago.
The city is also becoming more involved in various physical activities, be it running, cycling or yoga, said Akshar, founder and chairman, Akshar Yoga. “People seek treatment options when they are diagnosed of physical or mental health issues. They are open to adopting lifestyle changes too,” he said. Another thing that works in their favour is that people here look out for routines that suit them the best rather than something generic, Samir Kapoor, CEO of fitness centre MultiFit, said.
Besides highlighting various rosy things about the health scenario in the city, the study, titled ‘India Fit Report 2019’, flagged the concern that it has a high stress index. Experts attribute it to the traffic congestion, increasing temperature and work pressures. “The way people drive here shows how stressed they are. But this is the case in almost every Indian city. Stress is the biggest concerning factor when it comes to health,” Kez Klein, director, IFAA India Fitness Academy, said. She added that people in Bengaluru and Mumbai are more conscious about what they eat, and it only helps that more options to eat healthy are coming up in these cities.
People are also switching to health food like millets, and gradually including exercises to help eat and sleep better, Uma Trasi, dietitian, Manipal Hospital Malleswaram, said. The study indicates that Bengalureans are the most rested, and get the longest duration of sleep – 6 hours 56 minutes on an average every day – in comparison to other cities. Trasi, however, pointed out that many young people are unable to maintain good sleep habits due to their lifestyle, though they are making changes.
Another factor that may be working in favour of keeping people health conscious is that many corporate firms encourage regular check-ups now. Dr Jyothsna Reddy, chief clinical nutritionist, Sakra World Hospital, said she has seen a 30-40 per cent rise in number of patients. “They compare the earlier reports and opt for preventive measures. Many also come with cases of family history of BP, cholesterol and diabetes. Most cases are for weight management,” she added.