Vani Kola Running a Marathon - Physical Wellness - How I added it to my daily routine

The fondest memories I have of my childhood are of the summer holidays that I spent at my grandfather’s house in his village. For a city girl, born and brought up in Hyderabad, everything about the village life, its routine, and earthiness, was a novelty. Every day spent there was special, full of activities that I found both adventurous and exciting.

From competitions amongst cousins to drawing water from the well to drying papad on the terrace, to the dedicated pickle-making days, each day was a source of unending wonderment for me. Unlike today, where modern appliances have become central to meeting the needs of our rushed lives, daily chores like the grinding of spices and flour, and making the idli batter and chutney, were all done manually.

Physical activities and the resulting fitness were deeply incorporated into our lives through our daily routine, with little or no support towards that aspect of education from school. In school, physical training (PT) classes were treated more as a free period giving relief from the routine academic monotony, rather than in pursuit of an actual sport.

All around me, I was always aware of an underlying discouragement for teenage girls to participate in serious games and athletics. While skipping rope with my friends, “Girls should not be jumping, it looks indecent”, was a phrase I commonly heard. With the passage of time, the huge playground of my school became a fuzzy memory, tucked away in a happy space in my mind.

The Diametrically Opposite Attitude

Unlike mine, my daughter’s school in California had a diametrically opposite attitude towards sports and physical fitness. Their school was fiercely dedicated to fitness, instilling the same unswerving dedication in them.

Observing my daughters, it dawned upon me how much I had overlooked and ignored my own physical fitness in the past years. Going forward, I decided to be more mindful of my own health and made fitness a priority. Between raising my daughters and running my startup, I had my work cut out for me.

Intent on improving my physical wellness, I worked on finding techniques and routines that resonated with me. I set on the path of fitness by laying down goals which were aggressive but achievable. By making small but significant changes, I inculcated physical fitness in my everyday routine and lay down a roadmap to pursue enjoyable activities that were physically rigorous and mentally invigorating.

In my pursuit of fitness, I realized that the achievement of any goal that we set for ourselves, both in our professional and personal lives, is about establishing a neural network focused on the attainment of those goals. With discipline and by putting mind over matter, it is possible to overcome our limitations to accomplish the targets we establish in all aspects of our lives. With physical fitness came the ability and determination to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, about which I had first read in my social science class in school, and could not imagine climbing even in my most far-fetched dreams.

My commitment towards health and fitness hit a speed breaker after shifting to Bangalore. The city is famous for three things; firstly, it is the home to several ingenious startups and the headquarters of leading Indian tech companies, secondly, its gorgeous weather all year round, and thirdly, its snarling traffic and a severe lack of walking space. Research by Clean Air Initiative puts Bangalore amongst the four worst cities with roads and pavements unfit for pedestrians. While in the U.S., I was an avid hiker and a runner, whereas back in Bangalore, due to accessibility issues I could trek up the Nandi Hills only 4 times over a period of 10 years. Eventually, I stopped setting annual goals for myself and settled into a lifestyle which accommodated fitness only as an afterthought.

Physical Wellness – The Revival

My active pursuit of physical wellness was revived due to CureFit. Started by Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori in 2016 after their exit from Flipkart, CureFit was established with a vision of providing preventive and curative healthcare to people seeking relief from rampant lifestyle diseases. Their holistic three-pronged approach, which is a combination of physical fitness, mental wellness, and a balanced diet, allows for seamless integration of overall well-being activities into daily life.

Over the years I have become an ardent fan of their innovative and unique workout sessions which are an interesting mix of different forms like martial arts, yoga, and outdoor activities. With its no-machine and no-equipment training format, CureFit impresses with its unique approach to health which transcends the limitations of a segment equating fitness with perfect vital statistics and has grown from 16 cult centres in 2017 to over 130 centres all over India today.

With an informative and interactive app, CureFit meets both the online and offline needs of a health-conscious generation looking to achieve their fitness goals through unconventional workout methods. For this reason, I have widely recommended it to friends and family members too.

Today, due to my sessions with CureFit, I have developed a much more streamlined approach towards physical wellness, and am able to maintain a balance between work and home while retaining physical fitness as a priority. I try to follow a diverse fitness routine consisting of a combination of classes at CureFit, Yoga and Zumba. An assortment of workouts does not let my interest in physical fitness wane. My wellness routine of exercising, meditating, getting enough rest and following a balanced diet gives me tremendous energy to face everyday challenges by keeping my mind and body alert.

I would love to know what helps you keep your energy levels charged and motivates you towards fitness.

DisclaimerThe article is the independent opinion of the author and does not represent those of Kstart or Kalaari. Kalaari is an investor in Cure.Fit.