April 7 marks the anniversary of the founding of WHO and is celebrated as the World Health Day. This year's theme is: Beat Diabetes – a huge health challenge globally.
As people around the world get ready to involve in a range of activities that can help lead a healthier, happier life, City Spidey travelled across Gurgaon to take a sneak peek into the exercise and diet regimen of a few fitness freaks…
Social Development & Communication professional Anjana Anand swears by Parkour, “an attempt to reclaim our natural agility and instinct,” through body weight training. Part of the Palm Springs Parkour Group, Anjana trains with coach Aman twice a week, besides cardio, as “I love the outdoors,” she says.
In 2008, when Anand was in Singapore, she took part in the All Women’s Marathon, along with 10,000 women. “It was a life changing experience,” she recalls, and ever since, Anand has participated in several marathons, including the Vertical Marathon, and in 2010 the very first Bangladesh Marathon in Dhaka.
Anjana Anand says thumbs up to a healthy lifestyle
Her fitness mantra? “I begin my day with a healthy breakfast, usually cereal with fruits or fruit-nuts-chia seed-flax seeds smoothie and after every exercise session I make it a point to replenish my energy with a protein-rich diet of fruits or eggs or chicken or just a paneer sandwich. Processed food and sugar are a definite no-no.”
Crossfit enthusiast Shreya Sekhon, on the other hand, has made the Zone Diet her way of life. “It’s a 40:30:30 - carbs:protein:fat diet that supports Crossfit requirements feeding your muscles to perform at their best,” she explains, even as she too, gives the thumbs down to “sugars and processed stuff.”
Sekhon's Crossfit group flexes for City Spidey
Having practiced Tai Chi, yoga, weight and strength training are an integral part of her fitness routine. “My aim is to be stronger tomorrow than I am today. For me, Crossfit is not just exercise, it is a challenge and a means to channel my energies. It’s like a game.”
For 40-something Raji Ananth, “there’s nothing quite like running.” A member of the Gurgaon Road Runners (GRR), she credits her coach-mentor for completely transforming her life. “GRR is not just about running, it’s about living healthy. It’s about disciplining your body,” points out Ananth, who started 3 years ago with 3.5 km at 7.1 kmph and is now a seasoned runner clocking 21.1 km in 2.39 hrs!!
“My parents call me PT Usha,” she laughs, even as she thanks her husband Ananth for pushing her to adopt a healthy lifestyle and her co-runner Mihika for introducing her to GRR.
“I realized that it was running that gave me a real rush,” she tells City Spidey. Today, having completed two Airtel Delhi Half Marathons and the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, Raji is convinced that her thrice a week running routine coupled with plyometric strengthening is “the best thing that happened to me.”
Ananth achieving yet another marathon milestone
“There was a time when I lived on chocolates,” recalls Ananth, “but that was long, long ago.” Today as she prepares for the 2016 Pinkathon in her Sector 50 Hibiscus neighborhood, her protein-rich egg-soya-lentil diet is completely devoid of any added sugars.
Something Renuka Jhingon, Maths teacher at the Sri Ram School, Aravalli, has yet to come to terms with even as she fondly recalls her Cairo workout days with Ahmed Agamy, her gym instructor, US-born Carmel, her steppes trainer and June Nakamoora, her Zumba teacher.
“It was an hour-and-a-half of pure joy,” she laughs. Today, Jhingon’s fitness timetable includes regular walks in her condominium in Suncity, Sector 54, apart from yoga and gymming once in a while. “I plan to enroll at the South Point Mall Fitness First workshop during the summer break to build up stamina.”
Jhingon swears by home-made food
When she first started serious gymming 4 years ago, she could only do 15 minutes on the treadmill at 5.7 kmph. With a disciplined exercise regimen of Zumba, circuit training and steppes aerobics, she could soon walk at 7.7 kmph and run at 10 kmph with ease. “Working in a group always helps, as you feel self-motivated and can challenge yourself with group goals,” she says. “I often surprised myself and soon I got addicted to the gym routine.”
Not one to follow dieting or 6-meals-a-day charts, 30-something Jhingon, who once participated in a 3-hour Zumba Marathon for Breast Cancer Awareness, is a big fan of home-made wholesome Indian food – daal, sabji, roti and dahi. “What we really needs is self discipline and an inspiring trainer who trains just because he/she wants to see you fit. One for whom exercise is a means to make people fit, a tapasya…not making profit.”