COVID-19: Bengaluru leads the way in fitness journey in 'new normal'

Virtual fitness sessions were at an all-time high during the pandemic, with Bengalureans leading the landscape in the country, shows a recent survey

Published: 27th October 2020 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2020 07:40 PM   |  A+A-

A youth wearing face shield does exercises at a gym as authorities allowed the reopening of gyms and yoga centres. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav/EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Garden city, pub city, and now fitness capital... Bengaluru, according to a recent survey, leads the way when it comes to fitness and health consciousness.

A survey by Gympik to assess the impact of Covid-19 on India’s fitness behaviour, shows that the city tops the list in the virtual fitness landscape, with 58 per cent Bengalureans surveyed working out at least 3-4 times a week. Mumbai, with 46 per cent, Delhi/NCR, with 42 pre cent, take the second and third spot, respectively. 

Illustration: Tapas Ranjan

With more than 50,000 respondents from across geographies, the report tracks key wellness trends such as mental health, emerging fitness solutions, and new industry challenges.

The city’s vast population of IT professionals, who work long hours and are prone to health issues, have realised that they need to up their fitness quotient to sustain their line of work.

“Because they have travelled to the West a lot on work-related projects, their exposure to Western themes like CrossFit, long-distance running and yoga – which people are lapping up because of the way the it has propagated there – have influenced them to become fitness conscious,” says Abinav Shankar Narayan, founder, Namma CrossFit, adding that only those who liked lifting weights are eager to return to gyms as training at home does not allow people to lift and drop heavy weights.

Agrees nutrition advisor Shalini Manglani who feels that people in the “tech city” are more savvy with the virtual medium.

According to fitness consultant and personal trainer Bhaskar Prabhu, Bengaluru has fitness enthusiasts who are serious about their workouts.

“Many clients have set up a small gym in their houses so as to not skip their usual routine. This way they don’t have to worry about the safety issues involved in going to a gym,” says Prabhu.

With many living with senior family members, and not wanting to take a risk, Prabhu is not surprised that they have easily adapted to the virtual route.

“This way they feel they are keeping fit and building immunity without stepping out,” he says. 

Bengaluru is a hub for fitness seekers and experts, says Amaresh Ojha, founder-CEO, Gympik.

“Even before Covid-19, Bengaluru had the highest traction for online gym membership sales via our platform, which clearly shows Bengalureans’ inclination towards fitness and wellness,” he adds, pointing out that the average resident in the city is more than enthusiastic about trying out new things, especially when it involves technology.

“It’s this attitude which has made Bangalore top the charts in adopting virtual fitness services as well,” he says.

In a nutshell

  • Bengaluru leads in the virtual fitness landscape with 58%, followed by Mumbai with 46%, Delhi/NCR with 42% surveyed residents working out at least 3-4 times a week. 

  • While deciding to return to the gym, 90% of the members are strongly concerned about the sanitisation measures taken at the fitness centre.

  • 72% of members said they would feel more comfortable at the gym with additional sanitiser dispensers at the workout area and 85% said regular temperature checks and contactless payments. 

  • Once Covid-19 is contained, 56% of fitness consumers are expected to continue spending on digital fitness.

  • 90% of fitness enthusiasts have tried live-streaming fitness classes at least thrice during the lockdown as compared to just 26% in 2019. 

  • Demand for virtual classes for yoga (92%) and High Intensity Interval Training cardio workout (HIIT) routines like zumba (77%), aerobics (60%) and pilates (25%) was at peak.


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