Bond of health

Many Gujaratis are leaving no stone unturned to bond over good health.
Many Gujaratis are leaving no stone unturned to bond over good health.
Nothing could have been put better than what Joyce Meyer had to say about health when she said,”I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.” And putting her words to practice are the many Gujaratis who are leaving no stone unturned to bond over good health. Here’s how they are doing it:


Why run? For fun. That is fashion designer Namita Shetty’s approach to marathons. The 29-year-old says, “Joining the runs lets me spend quality time with my family and friends. We can chat, take photos and people-watch. I always have a ball. Life is stressful. But when I run, I can just focus on the obstacle ahead.” Joining such events also lets her make many new friends.

“People will ask me to help them take photos. We exchange contacts and keep in touch over Facebook,” she adds. Her five-year-old son, too, loves to run. In a recent run for a cause, both of them ran together. The run included routes for couples and kids.

“I ran in the 3km category and didn’t even break into a sweat. But it gave me a chance to bond with my son and relive some childhood memories,” she says. Adding to it, Rahul Sharma, a retired colonel, shares,”For me, I got into running primarily because my son started running marathons and I thought it would be a fun fatherson experience we could do together. My other son joined us and now a couple times a year, the three of us will pick a destination race and make a long weekend of running the same event, usually a half or full marathon. It is a great chance for us to bond and have a fun time together. My secondary, personal reason for running was to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.While I have always been athletic and exercised multiple times a week, I found as I was getting older I was putting on a little weight and not quite in the same shape as before. In the past three years, since I have started running, I have lost about 15 kgs and am in some of the best shape of my life.”

Just not the marathons, the youngsters in the area are skipping bonding over a cup of coffee and choosing a morning run instead. Shares Tapashya Narang, a PhD student, “Whenever I need to meet my friends, we go to Sabarmati Riverfront and run for around half an hour, this is followed by a healthy breakfast and spending time amidst nature’s lap.”


If infusing romance into life is your goal, then head straight to the gym with your spouse. Lab studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner. Exercise is a perfect example of the type of invigorating activity that can have these positive effects. Sharing a fitness goal, taking regular runs together, ballroom dancing, or having a date night at the gym can boost the quality of your romantic relationship. Talking more about it, Prashant Patel, a health trainer, avers, “When partners care about each other’s fitness, it becomes easier to achieve fitness goals. Sharing in the ups and downs of a daily morning walk, a tough bike ride, or a strenuous Zumba class, can provide the perfect balance in a relationship.”


Shahs were all excited to visit India this year. With both set of parents growing old and they aiming to spend maximum amount of time with them, there was no better way but to indulge in a three-day staycation near to their home city with all amenities included. Reminiscing about their staycation, Sunil Shah says, “We have been living in London since a long time now but both my and my wife’s parents live here. Every year we come here and spend a week with each set of parents. But this year we planned to do it differently. We booked a family home, invited all our cousins and friends and stayed there for a good two days.This was a place which gave us a holistic approach to life. With grandparents cutting organically grown fruits and telling tales, kids enjoying at the swimming pool, friends bonding over yoga sessions, there was no better way to spend some quality time with family.”


It is just not the wellness part that attracts Gujaratis to the spas; socialising is also a great pull factor. Anju Bhatt, a resident of Ahmedabad, says,”Being a retired teacher, it was essential for me to find a place where I could socialise.Sitting at home was surely not my cup of tea. Thanks to opening of a spa near my place, now we have a group of similar aged people who meet for aroma therapy every month. It is relaxing for both body and the mind.”

“Social spa-ing is the upcoming trend in Indian spas as Indians generally love to spend time with family and friends and now they can spend time together within the rejuvenating spa environment,” agrees Jayraj Barot, owner of a Spa centre.

Even for spa owners, more and more senior citizens are forming their customer base.”They form 30 per cent of our customer base. So we actually look into certain packages that suit them the best and they decide to come to us again or spread the word of mouth,’ says Barot. Barot further shares, “Yes, globally there is a growing trend towards wellness and preventive health and India is no exception to this. Although India has been initially slow in the uptake of integrating health and wellness into their lifestyles, it is fast becoming a growing trend as Indian consumers become more aware of their personal wellbeing and health.”

Indeed, every day, across the country, individuals are hitting health clubs, unrolling yoga mats, pounding the pavement, and signing on to new fitness challenges. Maybe they shouldn’t be doing it alone. It’s time they considered how physical fitness can benefit not only their own health and well-being, but that their relationships too.