‘FIT INDIA’ AND INDIA’S FITNESS PROFILE
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Fit India’ campaign, saying there is no elevator to success, people have to take the stairs. And to take the stairs, of course, people need to be in shape. The so-called ‘lifestyle diseases’ are on the rise, with India likely to be home to about 100 million people suffering from Type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years, according to some estimates. Heart conditions, too, are on the rise, a result, like diabetes, of excess weight, lack of exercise and unhealthy diets. But Indian cities, pollution-ridden and overbuilt, are not outdoor activity-friendly. Gym memberships are on the rise and the country’s ‘wellness’ industry was estimated to be worth Rs 85,000 crore in FY15 and growing at a compound annual rate of 12 per cent. We are, even by declining global standards, particularly sedentary. Could the success of International Yoga Day, alongside the Fit India campaign, finally prod us into action?