Taking fitness beyond boring diet plans or stationary running are enthusiasts like Ashima Suri, 27, who got tired of the monotony of dieting, gymming and jogging. So 18 months ago, Suri joined Bollybics classes (Bollywood dancing plus aerobics) at a dance studio near her home.
"Despite the fact that I was exhausted after the heavy-duty first class, I loved Bollybics," says Suri. "I love Bollywood music and dancing. It is like going to a nightclub to party every day." In spite of an extremely busy schedule, Suri, a finance professional, attends Bollybics classes five days a week and has lost 8 kg over the past eighteen months.
Group activities such as aqua aerobics, Parkour, Zumba and Bollybics are becoming the fitness activities of choice among people who find yoga, jogging and gymming boring. "When you go jogging or to a gym, you have to exercise alone, whereas aerobics and Parkour are group classes, where you meet many people and motivate each other to reach better fitness levels," says Anchal Gupta, founder of Arts in Motion, a dance and fitness studio that conducts Bollybics and Zumba classes.
Dance little lady, dance
That is exactly why homemaker Dimple Dhanak, 36, loves Zumba. "Before I joined Zumba, six months ago, I was petrified of dancing, says Dhanak. But Zumba changed that. "I love dancing now. Recently, for a friend's wedding in Delhi, I danced for her sangeet and had lots of fun," says Dhanak.
Aqua aerobics is another fitness regime that is gaining popularity. Aqua specialist Deepali Jain teaches it to 2,000 people at different clubs and private swimming pools in Mumbai. "Aqua aerobics helps burn 600 to 700 calories an hour and is injury and sweat free," adds Jain.
Vesna Jacob incorporates ballet, kick-boxing and scout training in her 60-minutes Pilates Boot Camp at Mantra Spa in New Delhi's Lajpat Nagar-III. She uses colourful balls, cylindrical bars, elastic bands, spine corrector, foam rollers to make the sessions interesting and provide a combination of strength, stamina and rhythm.
"I have been in the business of fitness for 30 years and understand the need for change, which is why I have combined different elements in this one routine," says Jacob. She however, warns that one should not begin with this routine as it requires a certain amount of fitness.
Out for some fun
For people not comfortable with exercising indoors, Prachi Agarwal conducts body-strengthening exercises each morning at Delhi's Lodhi Gardens. Her group does a combination of 10-15 short-duration isometric, plyometric, interval training exercises. "It resulted in inch and weight-loss and increased level of energy to last through the day," said Agarwal, who co-founded the organisation FITHO.
"Those who love to sweat it out to build strength go for Parkour, which is the art of tool-less human locomotion. It involves getting from one point to another overcoming any obstacle in one's path," says Parkour instructor NOS, who prefers not to reveal his real name. "One does not get fit doing Parkour, one should be fit in order to do parkour," adds NOS.
"The biggest benefit of Parkour is increased physical capability," says Parkour student Anuj Dubey, 22. He took to Parkour a year and a half ago after realising that his training in the gym was just shaping his body but not improving strength.
Places to try out new workouts
Vesna Jacob trains at Mantra Vedic Spa: 31, Link road, Lajpat Nagar-III
Prachi Agarwal’s FITHO has been temporarily suspended because of the cold weather, wil start after a break
Zumba and Bollybics
Arts in Motion, 67/4 Gokul, TVC Road, Sion (e), Mumbai
Body Rhythm, 12 A, Advent General Bhosle Marg, Next to YB Chavan Pratishtan, Nariman Point
The Parkour Mumbai Gym, Judo Hall, on top of the hill, Sports Authority of India, Akurli Road, Kandivali (E)