Fitness = Quality of Life

Atul Gattani
Consultant Rheumatologist, Navi Mumbai Arthritis and Rheumatism Centre, Vashi Apollo Hospital, Navi Mumbai

I have been into fitness not for long, but for the past 10 years, and with time I have realised its importance. It plays a pivotal role in improving the quality of life. Fitness was not given importance in the early years of my life when the focus was on studies. I tried to implement fitness into my routine during my residency and initial years of my practice, but somehow was not able to be consistent. Then came 2013, when I started my fitness journey by joining a conventional gym doing weights and cardio. It helped me with a lot of visible changes in my body, my performance, and improvement in my muscle mass. The weighing scale has never been a concern for me. Over a period, it became monotonous to lift weights and run a trade mill and the aesthetic aspect of it was no longer a concern.

Slowly as my fitness journey progressed, I realised the importance of functional movement. In 2017 I started Functional training and Mixed martial arts (MMA) (Boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu) and soon Brazilian Jiu Jitsu became my favourite. I was happy learning a new skill, and it improved the functionality of my body with improvement in strength, flexibility, and endurance.

During the pandemic, fitness centres were shut down, and as MMA is a contact sport, I was not able to practice it. I continued working out at home and started practicing Yoga asanas. Soon I developed an affinity towards Yoga and enrolled myself into a yoga teacher training course in Mid-2020, which was a yearlong program and I completed it. That year has brought a lot of transformation in both physical as well as mental health. Since then, I have practiced yoga regularly.

Core training (posture, balance, and stability), functional training (strength and endurance) and yoga (movement and stillness) are the disciplines that have helped me to keep myself fit. Nutrition is again a vital part of fitness, for which I rely on intermittent fasting of 15 to 16 hrs. and a balanced diet.

I do not have any strict regime of fitness; I just keep awareness and act on it. There is no need to keep on worrying about aesthetics, and questioning yourself whether you are losing or gaining weight or winning competitions. The only thing that matters is consistency. Fitness has a prominent place in our family now. Professionally, I also never hesitate to tell my patients to be fit as I practice it.