Fitness as a Lifestyle

I went to the mall today to meet Rakhi who is a fitness instructor at the gym which is located inside the mall. I have been very curious about the fitness boom in India so wanted to talk to her about it. I was very impressed with the size, professional upkeep and facilities in the gym. Rakhi mentioned that this was just a mid-size gym, which looked pretty big to me, and that there was a bigger one in another locality. 

Fitness, as Rakhi notes, is not yet a lifestyle in India. People usually exercise and go to the gyms for short term goals, such as when getting married or when traveling to beaches. It is more about appearance and looking good as opposed to being healthy and fit. Gyms in India can be quite expensive so they can only be afforded by a relatively smaller segment of the population. Free spaces such as public parks and paths for walking and jogging are still very few. Significant air pollution further adds to the problem of outdoor exercising. This is a hindrance for all, but especially for women, who need safe and easily accessible places for everyday exercises. 

A Shift from Debit Culture to a Credit Culture

Since the last few years I have been noticing spending patterns of middle-class Indians. Incomes have grown, so have the opportunities for loans and credits. As a result, Indians are spending like never before. Gone are the days when people saved for years to purchase big-ticketed items, people these days are fulfilling their needs and wants through loans and credits. Recently, I was talking to a business professor in India who mentioned, “Indians no longer look at the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) of the items they buy, they focus on the EMI (Equated Monthly Installment)". Consumerism and instant gratification are on a rise, and the use and throw culture has started to seep in too.