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Fitness: India Inc's new mantra

By Smita Tripathi
February 12, 2005 14:26 IST
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D S Jang, general manager of the customer care cell of Hyundai Motor India Ltd spends two hours in the 3,000 sq ft Hyundai gymnasium every evening without fail.

Says Jang, "Besides keeping fit, it's a great stress buster." With more and more corporates beginning to feel like Jang, corporate gymnasiums have become a reality.

So what do you need to set up a gym in your office? "Space is the first criteria," says Raman Sood of Grand Slam, a fitness equipment provider. For most organisations, 1,000 sq ft is the ideal space.

However, depending upon the size of the organisation, this can go up. The Infosys campus in Bangalore has a 10,000 sq ft gymnasium.

Next on the list is, of course, the equipment. Commercial gym equipment is divided into cardio-vascular and strength training equipment. "In case of corportate gyms, more emphasis is laid on cardio-vascular equipment as it is meant for those trying to keep fit. Strength training is for those wanting to build muscles," says Sood.

So a treadmill, a cross trainer and a cycle are a must. The treadmill costs between Rs 100,000 to Rs 600,000 while a cross trainer is priced between Rs 150,000 and Rs 250,000. The cycle is relatively cheaper and even high-end models cost below a lakh.

Strength training equipment consists of the bench press, abs training, butterfly and weights. There is a multi-station gym, which has four stations and hence four people can use it at the same time. This costs around Rs 70,000 and is well suited to a corporate gym.

The LG factory in Delhi has a 1,200 sq ft gym meant for all employees. "There are no fixed hours and the employees use it whenever they have the time," says Yasho V Varma, director HR, LG Electronics. Varma says around 100 to 125 employees use the gym daily.

But how much time should you spend at each station? An ideal fitness regime is one where you divide your time between the cardio-vascular equipment and the strength training equipment.

How much time should be devoted to each will depend on what you want to achieve. If it's general fitness you're after then at least 20 minutes should be spent on the treadmill and another 10 minutes doing strength training like the bench press.

"In the first 20 minutes you burn only the floating fat. Anytime spent on the treadmill for longer than that helps burn the deposit fat," says Sood.

The average speed on the treadmill is between 7-8 km/hour for men and between 6-7 km/hour for women. The average cycling speed for men is 30 km/hour and for women, 26-27 km/hour is ideal. "At this speed your pulse rate goes up by 40 points, thereby increasing your metabolism," says a Delhi-based trainer.

However, if you are in a rush to become fit, use the cross trainer. "Since every part of your body gets toned using a cross trainer, you burn almost 25 per cent more calories on it as compared to a treadmill," says Sood.

Another thing to keep in mind while training in the gym is consistency. "You can take a break between the cardio vascular regime and the strength training regime. But don't take a break during the cardio-vascular," says Ankur Jha, another Delhi-based trainer.

So spend 20 minutes on the treadmill in one go rather than two sessions of 10 minutes each. And should a gym be air -conditioned? "There is nothing wrong with a gym being air-conditioned, but sweating it out is a better idea," says Sood.
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Smita Tripathi
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