Taking the sporting way to fitness

Hitting the gym is not the only option to get fit. Sports lifestyle is emerging as an alternative to a healthy routine to curb stress and fight sedentary existence, writes Tapapriya Lahiri

We all know the old saying health is wealth; more and more people are swearing by this mantra. Yoga, pilates, aerobics, weight lifting, cardio exercises… the ways to stay fit are many, but newer fads keep on hitting the enthusiasts now and then forcing them to look into the trends. Staying fitter and healthier is becoming one of the most poised wealth and various fast-paced metropolises in India are adopting sports lifestyle with élan. When sedentary routine is gripping the entire mind, body and soul, learning and playing different kinds of sport are rescuing people from getting affected by the stress bug.

 To curb down irregular biological functions, parents and youngsters are taking an immense interest in playing daily sports — be it in a sports arena of their residential complexes or enrolling themselves under any sports academy. To strike a right balance in life, engaging in indoor and outdoor sports can bring a paradigm shift in one’s routine. As per World Health Organisation, non-communicable diseases are more harmful than communicable ones and Indians are more affected to it.

You don’t have to become a sportsperson to showcase your skills
You don’t have to become a sportsperson to showcase your skills

The Head-Coach of Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri says, “You don’t have to become a sportsperson to showcase your skills in any sport or compete in any sports league. But, to stay fit and live a healthy life, one should play a sport and dedicate one hour every day rigorously and this awareness has to reach each and every door to achieve an unsurpassed level of fitness.”

While his visit to Kolkata during India-Sri Lanka Test series, Shastri seconded, “Kolkata has unmatched level of excitement when it comes to playing a sport, be it cricket or football. And this excitement itself is a ‘blessing in disguise’ for the Kolkatans to take up a sport seriously, to stay fit. I am surprised to not see much grasses out there in the city, but some newly opened sports academies and sprawling acres of residential complexes are offering plethora of good spaces and amenities to play a sport and these are really good signs.”

Sports—an emerging lifestyle

Sprawling residential complexes, sports academies established by the renowned sportspersons are grabbing attention of the people to find a newest way to stay fit, while mastering the art of a sport. Be it a badminton, cricket, tennis, football and many more, all the popular sports are on the preference list of the discerners. In Kolkata, Urbana — a expansive residential complex — has established a competent sports arena to woo people to incline towards sports and stay fit.

Reshmi Roy Chowdhury, a celebrity nutritionist shares, “It is good to see that sports lifestyle is an emerging as a trendy fitness regimen. Being a Nutritionist, I always believe in non-drug therapy with proper diets as per clients’ Body Mass Index and physical condition. But, apart from proper nutrition, playing a sport will surely help to build the strength and control the weight which has to be at par with BMI.”

Taking the sporting way to fitness

Sports academies — a new dimension

Now, sports academies in various metropolises are creating a buzz and similarly they are spreading awareness through social media among the young minds to enrol and achieve fitness goals. A former and prominent figure in Indian cricket team and Bengal’s Minister of State for Sports, Laxmi Ratan Shukla has ventured in his brainchild, LRS Bangla Sports Academy for the kids of Kolkata and rest of Bengal to make their dream come true. Shukla says, “This is the first Sports Academy in Bengal, rather in India, where kids from 6-16 years can enrol for free to attain the academy and I don’t charge any admission and monthly fee from these kids. As I can realise, there were monetary constraints in my initial days too. Hereby, I don’t want to put burden on parents and children as well, and there is no gender discrimination in my academy. A girl child is always welcomed to pursue sports as a career or for fitness purpose.”

Shukla also adds, “In Bangla Sports Academy, I make them learn athleticism which is an imperative learning curve of any sport. Building excellent physical qualities blending strength, endurance and agility will make all the youngsters more fit and eligible to take part in any competitive sports league. Even kids from various orphanages are also enrolling here to make their dream come true,as I stand by the noble cause and feel it’s a great achievement of me.”

DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai is also garnering fair amount of interest among the young discerners and their parents, too. Squash Head-Coach Leon E Manuel shares, “In recent times, young teenagers irrespective of genders are taking fitness seriously and showing immense interests in different outdoor and indoor sports. Besides training these young teens, I always try to enlighten them that playing a sport is the only way to stay fit and to not get addicted towards sedentary lifestyle.”

Similarly, Prakash Padukone’s Badminton Academy in Bengaluru is attracting many youngsters in the quest of staying fit. An official from the academy says, “As sports lifestyle is gaining a sizeable space among the urban people, parents are also rushing to these sports academics to make their child enrol and learn playing sport of their choice.”

Children these days are engaging in different sports to keep fit
Children these days are engaging in different sports to keep fit

Parents’ rush at academies

Before, parents were focused on dance and drama academies rather than sports as a great career option or to stay healthy, but there is a shift in change. Parents are now more concerned about their child’s health and fitness and later if it turns out to be an exceptional career option, they will surely opt for it. Indrani Ghosh, a mother of a four-year-old girl child says, “At my time there were no such academies to pursue sports, but, I have enrolled my daughter in a sports academy to get the best training in athleticism to grow fitter and want to see her as a sportsperson in future.”

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