She did not want to take up a mundane 9-5 job – and her parents were okay with that. But since her routine became monotonous and worried that this would become her lifestyle, her mother insisted that she should step out and do something. Today, after a journey of nine years, acquiring and upgrading knowledge, Anjali Yadav is one of Gurgaon’s respected fitness evangelists.
“There has been a lot of learning along the way and it does not stop,” she says over a cup of coffee. “The most beautiful part of my job is that I get to meet a lot of people. We share thoughts and experience on fitness, and it’s the connection with them that keeps them motivated, and inspires me to give my best. Coaching fitness is a therapy for me.”
Increased awareness of fitness needs
One of the trends that Anjali has observed is that people are more fitness-conscious now. “I have evolved and I've seen people evolving too. Nowadays, it’s not just about losing weight but also about gaining muscles. People are no longer just seeking a dance fitness programme but are also up for intense workouts. They return with amazing confidence after a great workout,” she says.
“They now build their daily routines around their workout schedule,” Anjali points out. “They are conscious of when to eat their last meal each day, of their sleeping time. They are more aware of the importance of staying fit, and are bringing about changes to their lifestyle and are ready to make sacrifices and putting in optimum effort that it takes.”
Get the right technique
Yet, she says the importance of developing the right exercise technique can never be understated. “The best way to prevent injury is to adopt the right exercise technique. I would also advise against playing around with a workout in the quest for innovation and against over-training,” Anjali says.
Similarly, she says it is crucial of getting oneself a good trainer. “It is vital to start with a good foundation by getting a good trainer. Do some homework. Get to know about the instructor. Try a few classes. The internet helps but it will be good to have a trainer around so that he or she can rectify any errors of technique that may creep in,” she says.
Find groups to train with
Anjali suggests that people could find groups to train with. “I also work as a coach with BootCamp Yellow, one of the most dedicated fitness groups in Gurgaon. Everyone who trains with us is very regular and diligent, no matter the weather since we believe consistency is the most important factor to achieve results. I also feel good about the environment in the community,” she says.
Innovate to beat monotony
For those who are battling the monotony of exercise, Anjali offers her own example in beating boredom. “I believe in continuous education and upgrading, which helps me kill the monotony and also to have a better understanding of my job. I never lose an opportunity to learn, that is one reason that I keep adding certifications to my profile,” says the trainer who does some serious weight training herself.
Any 21-day challenge is good start
She has some simple advice for those whose jobs entail that they spend their days at their desks. “You can start your fitness regime by making slight changes to your diet. For instance, take up a 21-day no junk food challenge with friends. Or a 21-day no sugar challenge,” she says “I am sure you will soon start feeling good and will want to add something more to your fitness routine.
“Perhaps short, brisk walks will do the trick. And, you could choose to use the staircase instead of taking the elevator. And there would be no harm in doing small things like squats and a few sits-up if you are not conscious of colleagues watching you. A gym ball instead of a chair to sit can be a good help in maintaining a good posture and getting rid of lower back issues. Find ways to stretch. You can set yourself a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day at the workplace and keep adding more,” she suggests.
Work out when energised
“Find the time for the workout when you are energised,” Anjali says. “I am a morning person but I also realise that many people work night shifts and therefore cannot be morning people. Indeed, if you have been working through a night, you may want to work out in the evening. Intense, focussed exercise helps, no matter what time of the day.”
Recognise signals from body
Anjali has a word of warning, too. “You should know when to stop. And you should know the difference between confidence and over-confidence. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone but yourself. A coach or trainer can only share the dos and don’ts. But you must know your limits to prevent injury. You must always listen to your body and identify the difference between being sore and being in pain,” she says.
And yes, when she does steal some time away from training those who are in their quest to stay fit, Anjali sips sugarless coffee and ruminates about the day her mother insisted that she step out of home and find her calling.