All work and no play makes jack a dull boy, goes the familiar saying that would be apt in the present scenario that is witnessing alarming global obesity figures. Health and exercise go together – like financial figures and human figures – hand in hand. However, lack of this coordination takes its toll on both humans and their finances. The present is witnessing India becoming one of the top diabetic countries in the world with the affected population turning to all sorts of medicines and various other measures to escape the menace of this deadly disease that is claiming countless lives, alongside modern day diseases like obesity, high cholesterol, heart diseases which are the focus of current key government initiatives for increasing health and fitness.
There is an estimated 66.6 million diabetic population in India and, according to the World Health Organisation, 60 per cent of people in the world lead sedentary lifestyles – making it one of the most overlooked and more serious public health problems today. While healthy measures are being put into place worldwide, many companies and businesses have begun to realise and capitalise on this by bringing their exercise into their homes and business areas in forms of playing in breaks between work times. One such company is Koochie Play Systems which combined the need – for getting a healthy workout and fresh air – through outdoor gymnasiums that could be easily installed in parks, schools, residential area, public locations such as residential condominiums, public parks, beaches, school campuses, playgrounds, resorts, hotels, prisons and other places.
“Outdoor” gyms are now becoming the answer to the exercise-seeking human fraternity who are looking at ways to get rid of obesity and lifestyle diseases,” notes Roben Dass, Chairman and Managing Director, Koochie Play Systems, that introduced its “Koofit” range of outdoor gymnasiums to give citizens a way to stay fit and active without spending on expensive indoor gymnasium membership fees. “These outdoor gyms are a wonderful addition to the health and recreation facilities. This is the next step for public fitness in our country, and we hope to do all we can to improve the health and wellbeing of our general public. This new outdoor gym equipment gives people the opportunity to regularly exercise in open spaces, using equipment that can be located in public areas such as parks, grounds and beaches.”
“When people first decide to make a difference with their physical fitness, they go for a walk,” Dass explained. “And to have these fitness pieces beside a path that they happen to be walking by, people are a lot more prone to get on them and do a little bit of exercise. Increasing health and fitness is an important factor in improving our quality of life while also fighting modern day diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases etc. It is also the focus of current key government initiatives. We are seeing accessible exercise equipment appearing in open spaces such as our parks, helping differing ages and abilities to take some regular physical exercise.”
Describing Koofit as one of the few brands across the world to be awarded the prestigious DIN 79000:2012 certification of the latest European safety standards, he said Koochie Play Systems is the only international-certified provider of total solutions in the field of outdoor playground, outdoor fitness and safety flooring equipments in India with its products tested and certified in France and Australia by the prestigious EN 1176 certification (the highest safety certification given to playground equipments in Europe) and the AS 4685 and NZS 4486 (Australia and New Zealand safety certifications.
“The company was established in 2006 in Bangalore with a mission to offer playground equipment that met highest international standards in terms of quality, aesthetics, product life design, planning and execution and most importantly – child safety. Koochie Play Systems began with the sole aim of changing the way this industry works in India as safety standards till date including in children’s playground equipment is a chapter that has yet to be understood, comprehended and incorporated. Today Koochie play systems success in this regard has made it a global brand with presence in four continents and nine countries with offices spread across India, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, France, Australia, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Thailand and Philippines. All components used in Koochie Play Systems are manufactured in state-of-the-art OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) facilities in Korea, Taiwan and China under strict quality control.”
The use of outdoor gyms also promoted and encouraged the use of green spaces, healthier living, social interaction and fitness while being installed in various public locations like residential condominiums, public parks, beaches, school campuses, playgrounds, resorts, hotels, prisons and other places, Das said, adding that the Koofit exercise equipment has been designed and developed by sports and exercise professionals to provide strength, cardiovascular, flexibility as well as balance and co-ordination training for all major muscle groups, ages, and abilities. The outdoor gym equipment including an elliptical trainer, chest press, lat pull down, parallel bars and exercycles feature low impact – meaning they are body-resistance-based where one’s own body weight is used as resistance, thus greatly reducing chances of grievous injuries.
Meanwhile, the hospitality industry is also gearing up to make healthy foods a trend. One such health initiative being highlighted recently in India is “The Diabetic Food Trail” that offers diabetics, pre-diabetics and health-conscious individuals a healthy culinary experience at over 100 restaurants across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore from World Diabetes Day – November 14, 2015 – through diabetic-friendly menus that highlight nutritious and delicious choices to enable them to eat without worry.
The brain behind this initiative is Seema Pinto, Director, Semora Entertainment Works, who believes in the need for influencing the Food Industry to recognise the need for “Diabetic-friendly Menus” – given the fact that India is headed to become a country of 80 million diabetics by 2030 (according to WHO), besides one of the primary objectives of channeling this initiative through restaurants being to dispel the notion that “healthy food cannot be tasty food.”
This move is also expected to give a boost to the hospitality industry in providing a novel healthy food experience that is still fits within the pockets of the diners in comparison with regular foods. “The chefs from our restaurant partners conjured up novel gourmet dishes, while some recipes and menus were re-engineered from their existing dishes to suit the recommended diet and calorific values, alongside the effort to ensure tasty food suitable to the Indian palate.,” said Pinto, while recalling that her own world of diabetes set her on this course of creating awareness and changing the mindset of all including diabetics in how diet was necessary for overcoming diabetes. “After being on insulin twice daily for 10 years, I self-learned food portion control – and dropped 12 kgs while ridding my use of insulin – alongside controlling my diabetes. I am a foodie and therefore looked at options for other foodies through this “diabetic menu” initiative where the cost is nearly same as regular food menus.”