Exercising caution

New year and gym enrolments go hand in hand, but with Covid cases spiraling, Bengalureans are again opting for digital classes

author_img Anila Kurian Published :  04th January 2022 11:35 PM   |   Published :   |  04th January 2022 11:35 PM

Pilates studio

New Year is synonymous with new resolutions. And most often, one of the top essentials is to get fit aka sign up for gym membership. This year too, the intentions remain the same, except that with the sudden rise in Covid cases, we’re back to virtual modes. 

IT professional Gautami Tagare, who recovered from Covid two months ago, was just planning to take up gym membership. But with news about a raging pandemic, Tagare has decided to try online workouts without the pressure of working out with a personal trainer.

“I’m worried that there’ll be a lockdown. In which case, I don’t want my workout schedule to get disrupted,” she says. 

Tushar Vashist, co-founder and CEO of HealthifyMe, says that the first day of January has been a record uptake in paid subscription to the brand’s digital services. “We are noticing almost 30 times growth in four years. While in all of January 2018 we did R2 crore revenue, this year, we’ve seen R1 crore on the first day of the year,” he says, adding that with the surge in new cases, people want to think of health more holistically. “Technology acted as a catalyst and helped curtail the limitations of in-person fitness training. Even digital fitness is becoming more personalised now,” he says. 

Srividya G Venkatesh, founder of 10 Elephants Yoga, an online yoga classe, has gone back to virtual sessions with her classes across countries, including the US and UK. “Since the new variant came out, I stopped the offline yoga sessions at my apartment complex. Classes are held for about 15 people every morning so that I can give each person their required individual attention,” she says.

Home trainers are also in demand once again. For instance, freelance fitness trainer Bhaskar Prabhu starts his day at 5.30 am, heading to a client’s home and working with the equipment they have — something they have invested in since the lockdown. “Working with clients in the comfort of their homes will be good for their minds and will motivate them more. This way, even if there is a lockdown, the workouts don’t have to stop,” he says. 

Those who want offline classes are mostly opting for premium health centres. Sheena Jones of The Pilates Studio by Namrata Purohit says most of their older clients who have returned now are complaining about back issues and injuries. “It’s not always possible for the trainer to guide people about their postures when working out online. Since they have been practising this for the last few months, their postures have taken a toll,” says Jones, adding, “We have taken all the necessary precautions, separating the spaces for each client, sanitising regularly so that people can feel safe. Since our programmes involve equipment, it’s not possible to have an online version of it.”