In a general trend observed since a past few years, it has been seen that the millennials are showing a shift in their behavior when it comes to fitness. Even a few years back youngsters were seen enjoying partying every weekend. Those parties typically meant booze, late nights, junk food, and over-eating. These became a factor not only behind the youngsters gaining some extra pounds, but also deteriorating their fitness with time. It took them some time to understand the grave mistake that they were doing.
In a growing trend the millennials have shown a shift of interest from partying to fitness. When it comes to fitness, they also chose alternate sports apart from hitting the gym regularly. Running marathons, going for trail runs, cycling, trekking, hiking, are some of the alternate sports activities that have caught the attention of the millennials. Millennials believe that taking part in these sports help them break the monotony of their daily life of college and office. Lalit R. Parakh, an employee of PwC, Kolkata says, “My sister introduced me to alternate sports. I also hit the gym, but it never gives me thesatisfaction that I get from marathons and trail runs. Running drives out all the negativity and brings out positivity and confidence in me.” Lalit also plans to start participating in cycle races this year.
With growing number of people like Lalit, many sports management companies are organizing such alternate sports in and around cities, in the entire country. Some of these events have garnered huge popularity and have been getting participants from people outside India too.These sports can be taken up by anyone. There are groups that provide training for certain sports. While sports like trekking, camping, and hiking might not need any formal training in the beginning, some activities like rock climbing, roller-skating need to be mastered.
It is a fresh change to even think that youngsters are preferring to go for alternate sports in their spare time, rather than roaming in malls without any specific reason. AnupamSaha, who had moved to Mumbai from Kolkata, said, “When I moved to Mumbai, my neighbour who is 6 years younger to me told me about his interest in trekking and camping. I had few acquaintances in Mumbai so I joined him. Since then I have already been to several treks and hikes with them. It is amazing to watch how these kids are keeping fit by taking part in these alternate sports.”
Akash Korgaonkar, the founder-director of Ruggedian, says, “Youngsters are fitness conscious, these days. Their interest and enthusiasm to choose trekking, mountain-cycling, trail running is a good way to keep fit.Their desire for adventure along with their fitness regime are creating more scope for alternate sports in India.”
It is evident that a new culture is gradually seeping through in the world of the millennials. The regular gym hitters also are opting for these sports to unwind from the stress level and break the mundanity of everyday life. They have chosen to trek, camp, and cycle to create memories besides fitness than to just walk on the treadmill aimlessly or partying every weekend.