5 Fitness Influencers Who are Changing the Landscape of Health and Wellness In India
For the longest time, an average Indian would look up to Bollywood and Hollywood stars for fitness inspiration. This led to the emergence of a very toxic gym culture which mainly focused on looking a certain way or following a strict and regimented exercise pattern. As a result, many people were unable to achieve their fitness goals because following the routine and diet promoted by celebrities was unsustainable.
However, with the emergence of social media platforms like Instagram, there is a big change in the way fitness and wellness are now being perceived and promoted. This is all thanks to a growing number of trained and knowledgeable fitness influencers who are changing the landscape of the health and wellness space in India.
People also became more focused and concerned for their health during the Coronavirus pandemic. Locked up at home with limited distraction there was an increase in fitness-related activities amongst Indians. Here are some interesting facts supporting this claim -
- In quarters 1 and 2 of 2020, there was a 46% increase in the downloads of fitness-related apps
- India topped the list with a 157% increase in the downloads
- Nearly 58 million active users registered on numerous health apps in 2020
Some may refer to these numbers as whim and impulsive, however, a change is evident. Research in the post-pandemic times indicated that 94% of Indians are conscious about health, fitness and holistic nutrition. Many experts have called this a “biggest seismic shift”. Instead of working at the gym, people are preferring to do a home workout or no equipment workout at home.
On the diet front, many nutritionists are going back to the basics and promoting a balanced diet without having to eliminate the foods that one loves.
Encouraging people to follow a sustainable lifestyle and not fall into the trap of fad diets, are the following Instagram influencers who are not only successful but also changing the dialogue around fitness, nutrition and mental health.
Insta handle - glutesbeforedudes
With a Masters in sports nutrition and a certified fitness coach, Kriti is a personal trainer and seasoned content creator. Thanks to her unique style of presenting content she has over 84.6 K followers on Instagram. Her videos and reels have a hint of comedy but apt messaging when it comes to lifestyle improvement.
A big critic of fad diets, Kriti wants her clients or anyone seeking wellness to focus on 5 key things - nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and habit formation.
Although often Kriti uses comedy as a tool to put across the message, her videos are very informative, relatable and motivational for those who are new to fitness and want to turn around their lives.
Insta handle - banij
Gurbani Judge, popularly known as Vj Bani is the poster girl for powerlifting in India. She is an actor, model and a very successful Instagram influencer with over 1.5 million followers.
With her work and dedication, she has discredited the notion that women cannot lift weights. Working on her fitness since the age of 19, Bani has been unfairly body shamed for her muscular physique.
In India, for the longest time, weight training was treated as a go-to workout for men while women were encouraged to do cardiovascular exercises like aerobics or running on the treadmill.
However, now the tables have turned and both men and women are encouraged to include strength training in their workout routine for better health results.
Social media influencers like Bani J have shown that women can lift weights too and can benefit from it. Her workout videos on the platform are an inspiration to a lot of people.
Insta Handle - fitnesstalks_with_pranit
Pranit Shilimkar is a fitness influencer and founder of fitnesstalks, an online health consulting company based in Pune. The company focuses on providing holistic health consultation with an emphasis on accountability. He has nearly 138K followers on Instagram and his content on the platform covers different aspects of health, weight training, nutrition, and cheat days.
The comedy sketches on his Instagram page busts a lot of fitness myths and constantly posts content about his personal journey which is inspiring for his followers.
Insta Handle - hazzelchoudhry
You need to give up on your favourite food in order to have a ripped body. This is what a lot of fitness trainers and lifestyle coaches will tell you. However, one man defying this notion is Hazzel Choudhary. A self-proclaimed foodie, Hazzel Choudhry has a ripped body and a full plate.
His Instagram page is full of lip-smacking food alongside fitness motivation videos, giving out a very clear message - having a healthy relationship with food is important. Eating dense food is important at the same time treating yourself to an occasional ice cream or a plate of biryani is not a crime.
Insta handle- the.yoga.panda
With the surge in the demand for home workouts, the ancient practice of Yoga has taken the center stage all over again. Demanding nothing more than a tiny space and a mat, yoga was a convenient and effective form of workout for many during the Covid pandemic. In fact, this growing love for Yoga is one of the few positive outcomes of the lockdown and the pandemic.
It is becoming extremely popular for people who are looking for a light but effective form of exercise. One influencer who is promoting this ancient practice in a big way is Yoga teacher and wellness coach Shipra Goel.
A huge supporter of body positivity, Shipra is an example that size cannot come into the way of achieving your fitness goals. Typically, people with lean body types are considered fit. However, influencers like Shipra have redefined that. Her Instagram page is full of videos of her performing complex Yoga asanas. She also talks about the importance of self-love, meditation and mindfulness and their impact on mental health.
The content posted on her platform is also very educational and is perfect for beginners who want to learn the right posture while practising yoga.
The Message is clear -
Fitness needs to be realistic, and wholesome which cannot be fit into a box. Every person is different and their needs are also different. With time, the wellness industry as a whole is pivoting towards holistic wellness with an equal focus on weight management, mental health, nutrition and healthy relationship with food.
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