27/12/2014 7:59 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Have Fun While Working Out!

Reflected in a mirror on the walls of the dance studio, instructor Renu Kansal leads students in practicing Bollywood dance steps at a dance school in south Denver on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009. Drawn to the lavish dance numbers in films from India, or just bored with their gym workouts, people are flocking to Bollywood-style dance classes that mix traditional Indian folk dances with hip-hop moves. And the U.S. exercise industry is taking notice. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Growing up in the India of the 1980s, meant an almost invisible, yet built-into-regular routine fitness schedule—people mostly walked to school/markets/office; swam in the neighbourhood ponds (builders had not yet taken over, after all); children and elders alike played football, cricket, kabbaddi and the likes. But with the opening of the markets in the early 90s, came the deluge of cars, cable television, video games and Internet, bringing in its spate a lifestyle that was marked with children getting hooked to 24-hour television/Internet, people driving to offices, chucking the stairs for elevators, getting 'dropped' to school, shopping malls. Whither good health?

Indians are on a Fitness Drive!

Circa 2014. You realise, Indians have suddenly woken up to the concept of fitness—marathons and cyclothons are a huge rage and social media is full of selfies of people showing off their trekking holidays. Yoga has made a comeback, walking expeditions are slowly catching on and gyms have mushroomed in every neighbourhood. Why? I realised, my fellow Indians are waking up to the idea of fit bodies. Clearly, times are a changing!

Get A Zing To Your Fitness Regime

And I can tell you this straight from experience—unless you make your fitness routine a fun-filled affair, you won't last at it. Forgive my bluntness in making that statement, but I do not want to mince words here. I have seen so many people trying to drive themselves over the hill, having been over-awed by someone else's regime, only to abandon it all when the initial fizz and euphoria is gone.

Here are a few sure shot ways to keep yourself happy and motivated to your fitness schedule.

  • Do not get into an overtly strict regime of dieting or long hours of workouts every day. Chances are that you will quit even before you know it. Key is to tell your trainer to get you into modules of simple to difficult workouts so that you have a sense of achievement as you go along, and at the same time look forward to bigger challenges. Ditto with cutting down on 'bad food'.
  • Join a group of like-minded fitness enthusiasts. Groups always help to stay motivated and aim higher. And takes care of bouts of self-doubt and fear.
  • Include a fun element to your fitness schedule. Which means, instead of hitting the gym or the streets every day, sign up at a nearby dance-workout session. Zumba, for example. Peppy music, cool dance steps, awesome clothes and you can Zumba your way to good health, burning 600 to 800 calories every hour with some fun, yet power dance moves.
  • Give yourself a party every once in a while. After all, what good is all that workout if you can't eat good food and drink good drinks? So party with that bowl of fresh strawberries in cream or that lovely risotto. It is worth it. You know you will more than compensate for them at the next workout session, don't you?

And that's the key to a sustainable fitness program. Keep it fun.

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