‘I practise what I preach’
Fitness consultant and lecturer Aniruddha Sankpal shares his fitness regime and encourages working professionals to prioritise their health
From being a little plump to being fit, it has been a long journey for Aniruddha Sankpal, a fitness enthusiast. He is also a lecturer, fitness consultant, has completed his Bachelor of Physiotherapy and runs his own clinic.
“There are various aspects of fitness. But one has to have a wholesome approach to fitness which must include strength, endurance and flexibility. Fitness is directly proportional to functionality. My fitness regime includes outdoor cardio activities like cycling, trekking, 45 minutes to an hour of strength training followed by a session of yoga which I do twice in a week,” Sankpal says.
He combines his love for the outdoors and fitness by indulging in adventurous routines. “I go to Sinhgad twice a month for trekking. I also cycle to Khadakwasla and back twice a week. Whenever I get a chance I go to Taljai, I set off with my cycle,” says Sankpal.
What got him into fitness? “As a teenager I was always active throughout the day but I wanted more in terms of functionality, better performance, better quality of life and good aesthetics. Above all, I wanted to be able to perform and excel in sports. Around 13 years ago, I was a little fat and then I wanted to be fit, so I started going to the gym. I also started working as a fitness trainer and later became a lecturer. I tried to be fit all the time because that is my profession. I have to be fit when I deliver a lecture on fitness. What’s the use of a person who talks about fitness but is not fit himself? I practise what I preach,” he says. He works out five to six times a week and sets one day aside for outdoor activities.
Sankpal believes that just like you shouldn’t compromise on your workout, you shouldn’t cheat too much on your diet. “I don’t believe in the concept of cheat days. Even when I go out, I have sugar-free stuff. The days I don’t work out, I have to pay more attention to what I eat. The days I sweat it out, I can afford to indulge myself a little,” says Sankpal, who adds that cheat day or not, you have to make sure to eat healthy.
Throwing light on the changes he has seen after beginning to workout,
Sankpal says, “There is an overall improvement in my health like strength, stamina, muscular endurance, flexibility, improved agility, increased BMR, alertness of mind and improved quality of sleep. The most important aspect is that my confidence level has gone up now. My structure has improved. I travel a lot and wherever I go I have to do a lot of running around. It is because of my diet that I can do all this with ease.”
When asked about his opinions about the current breed of gym trainers, Sankpal says, “They should be certified with national and international standards and that must be updated every three years. Any person can open a gym today, but the health department sees to it that standard procedures are followed. There is a need for working out more due to metabolic and lifestyle disorders.”
Fitness for working professionals
People now work for long hours and are logged on to their computers because of which fitness takes a backseat. With a busy schedule that leaves you exhausted, working professionals tend not to prioritise their fitness. Sharing tips that one can incorporate in their lifestyle to get healthier, he suggests working out at home. “They can include yoga, or specifically perform the Surya Namaskar. Then there are a number of calisthenics you can do at home. Calisthenics are exercises that do not require any equipment and need to be performed rhythmically, like running, standing, grasping, pushing that involve gross motor movements,” says Sankpal, who believes that eating right is as imortant as working out.
“Change your eating habits to include nutrition that you need, everything will start falling into place,” says he. Once you’ve figured out your diet plan, the next step is to gather your will power to stick to it. Also, how regularly you workout is more important than how much you workout per session. While designing your workout, you must cater to the needs of your body. Instead of aiming to have a chiseled body inspired by a celebrity, you must work towards getting fit first. “All you need is dedication. With a suitable diet and workout plan followed diligently, your body will show you results with respect to the effort you put in,” says Sankpal.