“Healthifying” Kashmir

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Aabid Mehraj

Amidst the scenario of chaos and gloom that obtains in Kashmir, the one thing for which the youth deserves a special applause is the continuous attempt to maintain an atmosphere of fitness and health. The topic here is not about the health care and pharma/medico sector nor about the disease prevention and treatment mechanisms but it’s about the revolution in a particular field of sport which we have witnessed in the past few years. No, it’s not even about football, but it’s about a sport which has always lacked the required support and fame that it always deserved, a sport that has been in effect all through, to keep Kashmir healthy and smart. That sport is none other than bodybuilding!
Although in India, bodybuilding is not specifically categorised as a sport yet, but the charm of it has always been attracting youth towards it. Kashmir, in particular , has witnessed a revolution in this field in the past few years as most of the gyms in the valley have already been upgraded to match professional international levels. The past few years saw almost every gym being restructured, reorganised and reequipped with modern and better machines and facilities to cater to the growing attraction of youth towards bodybuilding.
Bodybuilding competitions are being organised every now and then which get an overwhelming response every time. People from all walks and sections of society can be seen participating in these fitness activities. The downtown area of the valley has especially emerged as a hub of bodybuilding activities with many youngsters taking it up as a profession and even bringing laurels to the valley. Several new gyms have come up and old ones have been refurbished in the area which also includes many gyms exclusively for ladies. Gyms like The Muscle Studio, Champions International, Muscle Freak, Fitness Empire, Fitness Solutions, Fitness Hub are only a few to name among the several prominent gyms in downtown area.
Some higher end gyms like Golds gym, Anytime Fitness, Fitness 360, Heavy duty, and so on have taken the sport to a much higher level of enthusiasm and trend. Bodybuilding culture has gained high publicity after many prominent personalities and politicians of the valley associated themselves and showed support to this fitness culture through their social media pages. The gym operators of the valley have succeeded in maintaining a culture of fitness and energy. The need of the hour is to support and encourage the people who play an important role in keeping active and running these fitness centres by making huge investments and spending every penny from their own pockets and in the process contributing in developing a healthier lifestyle and in ‘Healthifying Kashmir’.

— The author is a Freelance Journalist. He can be reached at: aabidmehrajjourno@gmail.com