Musings of a curious mind: Indians and Fitness

by Shalveena Rohde,

Sunday 23 December 2012

Health, fitness, yoga, pilates - these seem to be everywhere. Pages devoted to fitness, health and wellbeing are found on Facebook, newspapers have articles on all these topics, and searching for any related key words bring up numerous results and blogs posts. With the rise of social media, it has become easier than ever to raise awareness of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

Moreover, it appears that today women are just as active in the health and fitness industry as men. The lean, sexy women who are bringing workouts such as HIIT, cardio, strength training, yoga and pilates are amazing. Fit, strong and motivating.

However, today I noticed something that the fitness blogs, Facebook pages and websites have in common - all the contents appear to be coming mainly from Western people. I could not find one photograph of an Indian woman in this field.  Extensive searching of the web (using various search terms such as Fitness India, health and fitness India, fitness model India, Fitness Indian India, etc) did not result in any substantive results. One name that popped up was Amrit Dhaliwal, a celebrity fitness model. Another was Bipasha Basu, the Indian actress and now fitness advocate, who appears to be raising awareness in this area (good on her!).


But this made me wonder: in Bollywood movies, we see lean and fit women. They are amazingly beautiful, sexy and toned. But is this only reserved for celebrities? Why are Indians not more active in the health and fitness industry? Is it our lifestyle, our lack of awareness or simply a lack of interest? Or is it that they are there but I am simply unable to find them on the internet? If so, why isn’t there a bigger presence of Indian health and fitness bloggers/experts on the internet? Or are my search terms just unable to find the results?

Could it be because of our culture - a culture that values education and ability to earn money and advance in this world, rather than sport, health and fitness. A culture that is filled with delicious (but maybe not so good for you) food, and a focus on family. A culture where showing your body in public is unacceptable? Is this our culture or is it changing?


Categories: journal