Running remains the most popular form of fitness. Photo: iStock
Running remains the most popular form of fitness. Photo: iStock

Indian millennials take to combat training, pilates as part of fitness regimes

  • Millennials in India are pivoting to zumba, pilates and combat training
  • Alternate forms of fitness such as CrossFit, mixed martial arts, kickboxing and combat training were gaining popularity

NEW DELHI : India’s millennials are seeking to be fit by more than just running.

In a recent survey by global sportswear company Reebok that surveyed 2200 people aged 18-35 years in nine Indian cities, a majority of those surveyed said they indulge in at least one fitness activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While running remains the most popular form of fitness, millennials in India are pivoting to zumba, pilates and combat training.

“Millennials are increasingly opting for a healthier lifestyle, with 95% respondents indulging in at least one fitness activity – running, jogging or walking," Reebok said in its Fit India Survey 2.0, its second such study on the way Indians keep themselves fit. The company arrived at a Fitscore by mapping fitness activities participated in, frequency of working out and nutritional awareness levels among those surveyed. From 76% people opting for running as a fitness activity in 2017, the number dipped to 63% in 2019. “Unconventional training methods such as Zumba, Pilates and combat training has increased over the years," the survey said.

The city of Kolkata emerged as the most fit followed by New Delhi, and Mumbai. Pune, on the other hand, slipped to number 8, a major drop from the numero uno spot it occupied in 2017.

Interestingly, more users surveyed said that alternate forms of fitness such as CrossFit, mixed martial arts, kickboxing and combat training were gaining popularity. Nearly 24% of the respondents were practicing at least one of these. Over half the respondents told Reebok that they have at least five activities included in their fitness regime. These include walking (84%), jogging (64%), Running (63%), yoga (56%) and gym training (53%) emerging as the top choices. Strengths work-out activities such as pilates, aerobics, CrossFit, kickboxing, zumba and combat-training were also gaining popularity among those surveyed.

Social media has emerged as a clear winner when it comes to how millennials in India access fitness regimes.

Over 80% of those surveyed said they referred to YouTube as the most preferred medium for information on fitness. When it comes to sharing, users opted for sharing their posts on Facebook followed by Instagram. Fitness bloggers, and not celebrities, emerged as clear winners when it comes to influencing millennials on adopting fitness as a way of life.

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