April 30, 2022 9:04:01 am
VASCO: It was during the early months of the pandemic-induced lockdown that Mumbai-based Krystal Dsouza decided to take the plunge and document her fitness journey. Her goal was simple — tracking her progress, making health and nutrition more accessible for a wider audience, all while busting some common fitness myths along the way. But what started as a couple of snappy home workouts shared via Instagram Reels, quickly turned into something bigger.
“I remember when Reels came out, someone suggested making a couple. I thought why not,” the 25-year-old startup executive recalls. “I made a couple of small workouts to share with people and it just took off from there.” In an ocean of unrealistic ‘get abs in two weeks’ tutorials and inaccessible low-calorie recipes, Krystal’s content stands out. Apart from focussing on more sustainable goals, she caters to young professionals and college students who may not be able to splurge on fitness or have the flexibility of planning meals weeks in advance.
Krystal admits that she lacked the right guidance when she first started working out in college. “I was on an extremely low-calorie diet where I ate a meal a day and was just doing cardio,” she tells indianexpress.com. Since then, Krystal’s goals have shifted from simply “getting skinny”. “It was after my videos started getting popular and people began messaging me that I realised they were making the same mistakes I did when I was younger,” she says.
During the lockdown, while balancing a full-time job, she enrolled for a certification course on nutrition and has since been able to build a tight-knit fitness community through group workout classes and one-on-one coaching. “I’m currently doing a beginner class that focuses on every aspect — agility, mobility, and muscle strength. I want to make fitness a positive thing in their head,” she explains.
But Krystal is not the only fitness influencer to emerge during the pandemic. With gyms across the country forced to down their shutters and remote work pushing people towards a more sedentary existence, health enthusiasts had little choice but to get creative. Home gyms were created out of nothing — furniture was pushed around to make room for yoga mats, water bottles and other household essentials were repurposed as gym equipment, and perhaps most importantly, personal trainers were replaced by online video tutorials.
The pandemic saw fitness customers’ habits evolve drastically. While the home workout is hardly a new phenomenon, there was an increase in demand for at-home workout gear and fitness tech worldwide. Internet-connected equipment was a $3.8 billion market in 2021, Consumer Technology Association (CTA) forecasted, according to an AFP report. The meteoric rise of the Peloton exercise bike, and its many lookalines across the world, is a case in point.
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