Variety

A hard day’s night for today’s teens

R. Ravikumar Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Health-conscious: Youngsters sweat it out at Fitness One, in Chennai. — Photo: Bijoy Ghosh   -  Business Line

At FitnessOne, one of the well-known gyms in south Chennai, more than half-a-dozen treadmills are being used by girls and boys in their late teens; and some beefy men are pumping iron in the basement. Though the deep thump of the piped music reverberates around the gym, some chooseto listen to their own music on their ipods.

Quite a normal scene for a gym, one would think. Only it’s 9-30 p.m. “This is the time when we see a lot of young people stepping in for their day’s workout,” says Arun Kathiresan, Managing Director of FitnessOne Group India Ltd. As most of them attend college and take special classes through the day, they hit the gym only in the late evening. Looking at the fitness services industry over the past few years, “I am finding that things are slowly getting better (with regard to fitness),” he says.

Youngsters are much more health-conscious these days then ever before. “I guess a big inspiration are movie stars,” says Kathiresan. Trim Hrithik Roshans, Saif Ali Khans to the Kareena Kapoors, Deepika Padukones and Priyanka Chopras are all making a big impact on youngsters.

According to him, now close to 20 per cent of the fitness chain’s members are in the age group of 18-20.

FitnessOne has a chain of 35 outlets across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. And, 16 of them are branded Pink — a model created exclusively for women.

New workouts

B. Saravanan, General Manager of Isha Life Fitness, another well-equipped gym also in south Chennai, says, surprisingly, people in this age group are well aware of stress and how it can affect everything from one’s mood to weight. Interestingly, beyond machine-aided physical exercise, they also go in for Chinese Tai chi, aerobics, nutritional counselling, massage and yoga. “Burpees (choreographed athletic jumps), Zumba (a Colombian dance fitness programme) and kettlebell (developed in Russia) are currently the big hits among youngsters,” he says. That’s why most fitness chains are now offering the entire gamut of facilities — a more integrated system to take care of ones body and mind, he added.

Pallavi Arora, a fitness instructor in a leading gym in Bangalore, says the model of feminine beauty is not the same anymore. Earlier, being plump was “considered sexy”. But now, beauty is not just being thin, but better toned and fit and sculpted, she explains.

Janani Cherian, who is in her third year in an engineering course at a private college on the outskirts of Chennai, works out at a Talwalkars Fitness Studio outlet in the city. “It makes me feel better and more alert,” she said. Besides keeping fit, it also helps one in social networking. “Since I joined this gym a year ago, I managed to build a large friends network, including a couple of film actresses,” she says with a big grin.

> ravikumar.ramanujam@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 02, 2012

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