A gymnasium is where fitness enthusiasts encourage each other in their health goals. (Photo credit: Sanjyt Syngh)

Jog, dance, lift weights: Your guide to what to do at neighbourhood gym

The fitness centres have the equipment and professionals you need to get in shape, safely

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

For Indian fitness addicts, their favourite place is where they can walk, jog, or even dance to stay in shape. No wonder then that gymnasiums are now everywhere: from gated colonies to malls.

Dance and strength training are popular among gym users younger than 30 years old. Yoga is appealing to users older than 30, according to data from Cult.fit, a gym chain in 50 Indian cities. Women prefer mornings to work out and men have no particular preference.

TechSci Research, a marketing consulting company, estimates there were around 20,000 to 25,000 gyms in the country last year. As many as 6 million people in India were willing to pay for fitness solutions. A majority of gym memberships are purchased by working professionals and by consumers aged between 20 and 40.

“Soon after the fitness industry started recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a change in the behaviour and perception of the users this year. People realise the value of health and fitness in our daily lives more than ever in all aspects of mental, emotional, physical, and overall well-being. This positive change in customers is also reflected well across the business in the fitness industry today,” says a Cult.fit spokesperson.

Why gym

“Going to the gym puts you on the path to a healthy lifestyle and that’s what everyone’s end goal is. It’s your path to success; you just have to work at it. It just feels good to be healthy,” says Aseem Shah, a 31-year-old actor in Mumbai.

A gym has a variety of exercise equipment to suit all needs: weight machines, cables, rowers, head/neck harnesses, resistance training, lifting, and flywheel training devices.

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Quality gym equipment is costly and takes space. If you are looking to create a home gym, cross trainers and stationary bikes are priced between Rs 25,000 and Rs 250,000. Treadmills range between Rs 50,000 and Rs 4 lakh. You can create a basic home gym for Rs 50,000, a mid-end for Rs 5 lakh and an advanced one for Rs 10 lakh.
The reason why people come to a gym is not just equipment though. “It’s infectious to see everyone work out and you get motivated as well. The crowd is good and it’s a great place for networking. I met someone who is an entrepreneur, another friend is a headhunter and yet another, a doctor. So, all these contacts, who share with you the value of fitness, matter,” says Sanchita Nagpal, a 28-year-old IT professional in Gurugram.

Gyms must strike a balance between ambience and infrastructure, designed not just for working out but as centres for wellness. “In a world where there’s a gym in every corner, design plays a major role. Design in a commercial gym extends beyond aesthetics. It is important to create a spacious layout for people to be able to work out without dropping weights on each other’s feet,” says Sanjyt Syngh, an interior designer in Delhi.

“Lighting plays a key role. Ambient lighting works best and if mixed with sources of natural light, it can be the perfect combination. If space permits, one can turn the changing rooms into almost a spa with the addition of steam rooms and sauna rooms. Gyms have to be treated as wellness centres,” says Syngh, who has designed gyms.

How much time should one spend at the gym ideally? How should one divide time between weights and cardio? “Devote at least 45 to 60 minutes, three times per week to the gym. This schedule assumes you have a good eating plan and are not consuming more calories than your body needs. Weight training is important for your metabolism and your muscles. Cardio is essential for a healthy heart,” says Akshay Kumar, a fitness trainer at the Platinum gym in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase 1.

“Alternating weight training and cardio is a great way to maximise your routine, doing a combination of the two is best for overall health, increasing muscle and reducing body fat. If you want to do both cardio and weight training at 100 per cent effort, then you can try doing them on separate days, allowing your body to recover in between,” he says.

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People who do non-machine-based workouts have advanced in their exercise regimen. It is recommended but not mandatory to hire a personal trainer. “Having a personal trainer to guide you through the correct positioning and form is invaluable. They can help ensure that you’re performing the exercise most effectively for your body. You’ll not only likely see better results but also avoid potential injury this way,” says Pooja Singh, who is in charge of the Platinum gym written about above.

A personal trainer will charge clients Rs 10,000 and Rs 30,000 for three months. Monthly subscriptions vary from Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,300. Monthly membership for gym, Zumba and Yoga comes for Rs 2,300 at most gyms; gym+Yoga costs Rs 2,000 and for just workout at a gym the fees is usually Rs 1,800.

Keep changing your cardio exercises: it can be jogging one day and cycling the other, says Tanisha Bawa, a nutrition and fitness coach. If you are trying to lose weight, 70 per cent of your target will depend on food and the rest on exercise. If you eat an extra 1,000 calories every day, you will gain one kg in ten days. Before working out, eat a healthy snack. Always start with a good warm-up for joint mobilization and gradually raise the heart rate. Always stretch after the workout and spend ten minutes meditating to reduce workout stress.

The table compiled by TechSci Research gives the membership fees of gyms in Delhi NCR

Gym Location Type Price (In Rs)
Gold’s Gym Gold’s Gym Delhi Rohini Sector 25 Annual 30,000
Talwalkars Gym Talwalkars-Vasant Vihar Quarter 11,000
Half Year 16,000
Annual 21,000
Fitness First Fitness First, Select City Walk Saket Half Year 59,990
Annual 1,09,990
Anytime Fitness Anytime Fitness, Vishal Enclave Quarter 16,000
Half Year 22,000
Annual 38,000
Fluid Fitness Fluid Fitness Vasant Kunj, Delhi Quarter 17,950
Half Year 32,550
Annual 63,450
Ozone Fitness ‘N’ Spa Ozone Fitness ‘N’ Spa, Punjabi Bagh Extension Quarter 15,000
Half Year 22,000
Annual 32,000

Source: Business Standard https://www.business-standard.com/finance/personal-finance/jog-dance-lift-weights-your-guide-to-what-to-do-at-neighbourhood-gym-123042100332_1.html

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