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Lifestyle taking toll on people’s health, makes room for fitness centres

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Srinagar, Jan 11: Unhealthy lifestyle and faulty eating habits are increasing the risk and prevalence of related disorders among the elderly and children in Kashmir.
Diabetes, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases and obesity have increased manifold in the last 20 years.
Quoting a study, Dr Abdul Hamid Zargar, a noted endocrinologist from Kashmir, said, “In India, diabetic cases have quadrupled from the year 1980-2018 and the trend is clearly visible in Kashmir too.” “I receive around 40 cases of diabetes and pre-diabetes on a daily basis. A large number of cases under the category of pre-diabetes are children, and it is alarming.”
Obesity has also emerged as another major illness in Kashmir. Health experts report that obesity has increased by 400 % in the last 40 years due to sedentary lifestyle, high calorie diet, junk food consumption, lack of exercise and sleep.
Dr Salim Khan, HOD Community medicine warned: “Overweight children and adolescents are at a higher risk of suffering from fatty liver.”
“Due to sedentary lifestyle, people accumulate 5-10% of extra fat in the liver. With proper medications and some lifestyle changes, fatty liver can be resolved. However, it can cause great damage to the liver if ignored” he said.
In his recent visit to Kashmir, Dr Neerav Goyal, Liver Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Hepatitis C and intake of heavy fat diet were the main reasons for liver failure in Kashmir.”
He also talked about the lifestyle diseases leading to severe damage requiring liver transplants.
“Seeing the increasing number of liver disease patients in the valley, a liver transplant centre should be established here. We are already working on it,” he said.
Umar Khan, a researcher scholar, blames his deskbound work schedule for his fatty liver and back-ache. “I have been advised lifestyle change immediately by the doctor. I plan to start gym very soon. I have currently surveying which gym will be best suited to me.”
As the city turns into a hub of lifestyle diseases, a new wave of fitness consciousness is spurring a change. Big and established fitness chains like “Anytime fitness” and “Gold Gym” are trying to tap into the market to reach out to locals here.
“Although my lifestyle is not sedentary, but I would still like to be fit and visit a gym for that. It’s good to see a fitness culture developing in our society. For me the gyms are more about burning your extra pounds rather than making a six pack body,” said Habeel Iqbal, 30-year-old lawyer
The new fitness centres, unlike the traditional gymnasiums, offer effective fitness regimens and workout programs like yoga and martial arts classes in a group setting.
A new slew of workouts aim to foster fitness, enhance strength, and help in improving balance, agility, and coordination.
“Youth today want to feel and look good at any cost. We are doing our bit by providing them with the best fitness resources and service,” said Sameer Shah, co-owner of Anytime Fitness, a newly-opened, US-based fitness chain at Jawahar Nagar.
Sameer along with his brother Umar Shah are challenging the conventional gym imagery by discarding traditional equipment and narrow goals.
“We have reinvented exercise experiences here. Here, fitness enthusiasts seek advices from dieticians first and then try out new forms of exercise under the watchful eye of certified trainers,” he said.
Gold Gym, a franchise of one of India’s leading fitness brands, set up at Rajbagh is a brain child of three brothers, Isaam Wani, Menam Wani and Yasoob Wani.
After two years of research, the trio realized the dearth of fitness in the valley and came up with the health club.
“People here have a pre-conceived notion that going to gym is about heavy lifting. We are breaking the stereotype of a conventional gym and adding a fun element in every workout that is taken,” said 29-year-old Isaam Wani, co-owner of Gold Gym.
The fitness centre boasts of bio-mechanically tested equipment and certified staff.
Together these fitness centres are leading the crusade for a change.

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