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Bored of your routine workouts? Check out these latest fitness trends in India that promise to make fitness more fun for Indian women!
By Nisha Salim
Remember the good old days when Doordarshan introduced us to Aerobics? We have come a long way from there; now words like Zumba, Pilates, Hot Yoga and Boot Camp roll easily off our tongues. With a reminder that consistency is key no matter what fitness routine you have chosen for yourself, here is a look at the latest fitness trends in India:
26 year old Nidhi Garg is the quintessential modern Indian woman who is keenly aware of her body and understands the value of fitness for women’s health. “I love working out. I routinely practice Pilates, Yoga, Dance, Sports and Crossfit. Sometimes I practice Yoga with my guruji at home, or I may do Crossfit, Pilates, sports or dancing,” says Nidhi. Being a Pilates instructor herself, Nidhi finds it easy to keep herself updated about the latest fitness trends in India.
Bokwa Fitness is a relatively new entrant in India. Created by California based Paul Mavi, it is a new approach to group exercise where participants draw letters and numbers on the floor with their feet while performing a cardio workout routine set to energetic music tracks.
37 year old Shanthi Priya Dronamraju mixes Bokwa with other routines such as studio cycling and Zumba. “I mix and match my cardio activities so as not to lose interest,” says Shanthi.
People with two left feet who find themselves unable to follow the highly choreographed moves of Zumba may find this a more doable alternative. Bokwa steps are structured as letters and numbers, so it can be relatively easier to follow.
Aditi Kulkarni, a certified Bokwa Trainer in Pune, suggests that people try this out to break the monotony of other routines. “This dance form keeps me energetic even after an hour of training. My advice would be to just enjoy Bokwa as a new dance form and the results will speak for themselves,” says Aditi.
Zumba is a Latin music inspired dance fitness program which helps burn calories while having fun dancing. The hip-swiveling Zumba moves can work up a sweat and in a group setting, it can be great fun.
Ashita Kaul, 36, enjoys the Zumba classes which are held at her apartment complex. “I piled on nearly 25 kg during pregancny and Zumba helped a lot in shedding some of that weight. I am able to concentrate on my work and responsibilities after a good workout. It leaves me feeling refreshed. I also sleep better after a Zumba routine,” says Ashita.
Sh’bam is another latin hip-hop based dance workout module which is a recent entrant in India. A typical Sh’bam class will kick off with a basic warm up, and then dance combinations which are set to chart-topping hits. Sh’bam is offered at VivaFit centres in India.
Pilates is a great way to stay fit for Indian women of all ages. Even people with pre-existing conditions such as back and joint pains can enjoy its benefits under the guidance of a qualified instructor.
Namita Agarwal, who runs Fitness Fusion in Delhi, has developed a more relaxing variant of Pilates, which she calls Aura Pilates. “You can say that Pilates is a dynamic form of Yoga. With Aura Pilates, I combine traditional Pilates with an individual’s distinct aura or vibrations. While performing Pilates, the person visualizes colorus and listens to music according to the chakras that are in focus.”, says Namita.
“Equipment Pilates can help those who might otherwise find it too strenuous to exercise, even for people in the 50+ age group. Youngsters usually prefer mat pilates, but remember that the level of difficulty of the exercise can be modified to suit individual requirements,” she adds.
Pilates involves deep breathing and thoracic breathing exercises as well, which can help those who suffer from diseases like asthma.
Yoga is evergreen. It has always been considered as a great way to improve overall fitness as well as flexibility. Ashita says, “My mother is exceptionally well-maintained for her age, and I believe it is because she has been practising yoga right from when she was young. She is also extremely energetic. I follow her example.”
Many fitness studios teach Yoga alongside other routines. Basic Yoga or one of the new variants can improve women’s health in many ways; for example, Hot yoga is any kind of yoga which is done inside a room with a temperature high enough to make you sweat. Do check with your local fitness centre.
But if you are a serious practitioner looking to master yoga, you may want to check out yoga institutes such as Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Trivandrum, or Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh. These institutes offer a deeper look into yoga while bringing together different streams of yoga and healing arts such as Shinto yoga, Power yoga, Reiki and Ayurveda.
Yet another latest fitness trend in India is Boot Camp. It involves a series of cardio, strength and flexibility exercises using trampolines, dumbbells, kettlebells as well as unconventional tools such as sandbags, ropes, tires etc. Through a combination of various techniques such as calisthenics, speed and agility training, cardio and strength training, boot camp promises great improvement in endurance, mobility, body fat loss, and overall women’s health and fitness.
Namita offers a Boot Camp package at her Fitness Fusion studio in Delhi. Those in the south may want to check out The Quad in Chennai.
With a whole load of interesting fitness options available to Indian women now, it is time to get moving indeed!
*Photo credit: Lululemon Athletica (Used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.)
Nisha Salim is a self-employed writer and a social media junkie.
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