The fitter you are, the happier and more stress-free you will be
A healthy diet and exercise have the ability to alter our brain health and mental function
The founder and CEO of wellness app Revofit and healthy meal delivery service Hello Green, Sunjay Ghai started working out while still in school. Ghai, also the co-founder of online delivery service Scootsy, first started lifting weights as part of his boxing training as a teenager and has been hooked ever since. “I have been lifting weights in some form or the other since high school. It has been over 25 years now and I cannot do without it. The science has changed since then, but the basic activity remains the same,” he says. “My favourite fitness routine is a mix of weightlifting and cardio. I sometimes mix it up with high-intensity Interval Training (Hiit) workouts.”
Make your passion your work
Though it took Ghai, 44, time to get into the groove, he now trains six days a week, of which four days are set aside for weight training and two days for the martial art form Krav Maga. As part of his recovery routine, he plays tennis or goes for a swim.
Wellness is an integral part of Ghai’s life, so much so that his venture Revofit is about just that. The app curates workouts, diets and preferences based on users’ input.
Ghai practises what he sells, so he usually hits the gym at 6am and spends time with his family before going to work. On days that he misses the morning workouts, he “stops by at the gym on the way back from work and cranks it out”. Even when he is travelling, he chooses his hotels carefully: they must either have a good gym or must be near one. “The key is to control your environment and to not let the environment control you,” says the Mumbai-based entrepreneur.
The ultimate accessory
Ghai is currently training for his Krav Maga instructor-level certification—an intense activity, to be sure, but something that gives him immense satisfaction. Ghai appreciates the importance of a workout buddy, yet prefers to train by himself. “Workout buddies, especially for people who are starting out, can be a great motivating factor for them to keep at their regimen. But as far as I am concerned, I am very intense when I enter the gym. Since I have a very limited time to finish my exercises, usually it’s just me,” he says.
For Ghai, the confidence that comes with a fit physique is very important. “A healthy body and a good posture increase one’s presence and inspire an internal confidence, which cannot be replaced by material things,” says Ghai. This confidence, he says, “is the ultimate fashion accessory”.
Wellness for all
The fitter and healthier you are, the happier and more stress-free you will be—and this will show up in your productivity levels at work, says Ghai, who has recently started to meditate for about 15 minutes in the mornings. That has had a profound impact on his mental alertness and productivity at work. “At our new office we have created a meditation room where our employees can take 15 minutes off to have quick sessions. A healthy diet and exercise have the ability to alter our brain health and mental function,” he says.
The focus on employee fitness in places like the US started more than a decade ago. As Indians’ overseas travel increased, they noticed these changes and came back home with new ideas for their own workplaces. Over the last two years, the change in attitude toward employee wellness has become very visible in India too with companies like Marico and Asian Paints leading the way, says Ghai. “The reason for this is pretty simple, the organizations realized the positive impact of employee fitness on productivity, output and fewer sick days,” he says.
Leading Fit is a series on how corporate leaders stay in top shape and encourage their workforce to embrace a healthier lifestyle
Shrenik Avlani is co-author of The Shivfit Way, a book on functional fitness.
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