Bhubaneswar: Odisha is a state that celebrates festivals all the year through. Festivals mean fun and frolic filled with a diverse platter of delectable dishes and desserts that make up for distinct celebration-themed cuisines. To top this, the wedding season with back-to-back reception lunches and dinners are sure to add a couple of extra kilos, if not more to the waistline.
However, this is not the only excuse to hit the gym to begin working out. The youth have begun realising the importance of fitness and good health that has led to a growing gyming culture in the capital city. With regular workout and smart dietary regimen, gyming is not just about shifting weight and getting into shape; it is fast becoming a lifestyle staple.
“Survival of the fittest is what we were taught in school. Exercise aids in it. What begun as mere routine has now become an addiction for me. I cannot complete my day without hitting the gym,” said Sameeran Panda, a student and fitness enthusiast who works out for two hours, six days a week.
The gyming populace in the city mostly comprises of students and working professionals. Many a time, Job holders find it a tad bit inconvenient to squeeze in the workout slots in between personal, professional and social lives. People, therefore, do not adhere to the workout schedules and skip training.
Biswajit Mallick, owner of Ad Fitness, keeps the door of his gym open from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm to accommodate all his customers. Similarly, Sunita Mishra, owner of women-only She Slimming & Fitness Centre, has added extra time slots in her morning and evening batches for home makers and working women to finish their business of the day and maintain their exercise routine.
While home makers finish morning chores and then hit the gym, many job holders wind up their day with a training session late evenings. “I find it convenient to workout during day with exercise no matter how late it gets. I pack off my kids and husband and then peacefully go to the gym,” said Shibani Mohanty, a home maker. Her neighbour Roshni, on the other hand, is a working professional who prefers to attend her yoga classes after returning from office.
Irregular lifestyle and unhealthy food habits, stress and lack of physical activities are contributing to obesity and other issues such as joint aches, muscle cramps, back pain etc. at a young age. Doctors are prescribing workout as a regular habit to be inducted into the daily routine.
Sunita, who is also a fitness trainer, said, “For most women, weight loss is the ultimate goal. In that scenario, apart from cardio and aerobics, power yoga is a major game-changer for them. If done under guidance for 3-4 days a week, it helps in weight loss, body toning and enhancement of flexibility.”
Trainer Ashutosh Pattnaik of Absolute Fitness remarked that men are no longer going gaga over a heavy physique with bulging muscles and a super-chiseled torso. They mostly concentrate on core training, aiming at the classic six-pack abs with a lean and toned frame. “A modelling figure is in vogue for male gym-goers,” he added.
Apart from power yoga and core training, Zumba is fast becoming a favourite among the youngsters. International music combined with dance moves from across the world, has Zumba experts in the city garner admirers in large numbers.
“Zumba is an exercise in disguise. Jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. tend to become monotonous after a while. But this form of exercise helps you burn anywhere between 600 and 800 calories in a single session while you enjoy the music and groove to your heart’s content. Moreover, it is a major stress buster,” said Debanjan Bose, Zumba education specialist of Odisha and Assam.
Apart from Zumba, pilates, strength training exercises like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), plank workout are also being preferred by fitness addicts in the city. “We are the only gym in the state to offer CrossFit workout training that focuses on functional training in high intensity that supplement everyday activities,” said Biswajit.