Just as technology goes from micro to nano in every sphere, fitness gear industry lags no behind. It’s no more the traditional treadmill with just computerised display of speed, time, distance, pulse and calories that rules but machines with monitors, TV screens, music system and special sensors which tracks down the heartbeat of the person and adjusts the speed and inclination of the work out program accordingly. That’s exercise for mood.

Fitness may be the motive. But fashion is definitely the mantra. As Indians go global with their workout, the fitness gear industry is on the upswing. “We are launching a lot of our fitness equipments in India including the home gym gear like treadmills and cross-trainers.” says Subhinder Singh Prem, MD Reebok India. In the home gym section, Reebok sells treadmills in the range of Rs 1.5lakh to Rs 2.5lakh and bicycles, steppers and trainers in the range of Rs 20,000 and Rs 80,000.

Even as India’s residential market goes through the roof, people are adding gyms to their homes. “Anyone who’s building a house or renovating usually throws in a gym these days. For smaller house it could be a corner in the basement, just enough to fit in a gym cycle. The standard size is around 100 by 120sq ft in small compact homes,” says Raman Sood, proprietor of the GrandSlam chain of health and fitness stores. What would a home gym cost? Anything in between Rs7500 to Rs 80 lakhs. Interestingly, while young metro dudes like to go to health clubs to show off their biceps and hour-glass figures, its more often the 35-40 age group which prefer home gyms.

The fitness regime is not all about exercise but also about trendy gear and an assurance that boredom doesn’t set in. And with the therapeutic treatments like sauna bath, steam bath, Jacuzzi, and massage entering the fitness arena, working out becomes just ecstatic. There is a wide choice for clients in the gym. There is salsa, swiss ball exercise, power yoga, step aerobics, circuit training, spinning, kick boxing and yoga.

It’s not just the wow factor which is driving new age fitness.”A growing sense of wellness, a feel-good factor, and rejuvenation of body and mind is driving the urban crowd to gyms”, says Mr Gautam Deb, chief instructor at Add Life, Kolkata. And with gymnasiums serving as hangout for the youth, mini-club and fitness centre for others, people of a much wider age group are frequenting gyms. As the clientele gets more diverse from top gun wanting to build muscles to pretty young things who are desperate about losing kilos and senior citizens who just want to stay fit, gyms are moving towards customised and tailor made services.

At upscale gyms, there are equipments for overall body work out to workout of specific body parts like ankles and wrist. The main categories of large equipment include treadmill, multigyms, abb isolators, cable cross and cycles or cross-trainers with Technogym, Ketler, Horizon, Nordic Track, Life Fitness, Trimline and Parabody being some of the best known brands. Equipment stores like GrandSlam and Celebrate Life also stock lower brands from Korea and Taiwan. Top and cardio-vascular equipment comes in the range of Rs 4 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Some of the new gears include Core pilate, aerobic boards and gym balls. Even Yoga has moved beyond just the simple straw mat to balancing blocks and mats. In fact, you don’t have to make a trip to US or Singaporefor the trendy workout accessories. Just jog on to the nearest Adidas, Nike, Reebok or Bodyline showroom. Check out Nike’s Dri-Fit label range between about Rs 800 and Rs 1200 and Reebok’s hand grips and the soft dumbbells in the range of Rs 890 and Rs 990. Wrist and ankle weights from Reebok are priced between Rs890 and Rs990.Gym Balls are available for Rs 1090 and Rs1190 and Rs1390.

So for those looking for an active alternative to stay fit, there’s a whole new world out there. Just head to the gym and slip on those techy trainers. If you are young, pump iron. And even if you aren’t, it doesn’t matter you still need to a work out.

Best gyms round the country

Mumbai

Qi, Gold’s gym, Zas, Skyz Total Fitness, Talwalkars.

Kolkata

Add Life, TechnoGym(Geo), Gold’s Gym.

Chennai

O2, Body Lyrics, Savera Hotel, Fitness One.

Bangalore

Chisel, Figurine, Fitness, Zone, Steve’s.

Delhi

Ozone, Club Olympus,Hyatt, Regency Hotel, Club Olympia, Esporta, Healthy Self, Reebok, Curls & Curves, Club Xcell.

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Subhasis Chatterjee

Subhasis Chatterjee

A web-journalist and a content analyst with an experience legacy of more than 21 years in this field.