Stop Stressing Over Fitness

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Stop Stressing Over Fitness

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.” ­— Henry Kissinger

Years ago, when kids were young, we decided to take this newly launched thriller roller coaster ride at Universal Studios. Being an adrenaline junkie, adventures have always fascinated and drawn me. Settled in our seats (really hoping that the seat belts would hold us down securely), we waited in anticipation for the hissing sound signaling the start of the roller coaster.

We geared mentally to say a brave ‘Get, Set, Go!’ eyes glued forward. (Frankly, that’s the only sense of control one can hope to exercise on these rides.) 

With the final click of seat belts and hearts racing now, a few fellow riders hooted in enthusiasm. I suspect many were already bracing backward to counter the forward blast. What happened next was totally unexpected. We were so not prepared, and it’s hilarious in retrospect now. The ride jolted backward. We all thought it was a precursor to the forward hurtle. The ride stopped for a second…and continued to hurtle in reverse, accelerating without apology. Wits not yet around us, we entered a pitch dark space, which became our theatre of screaming hoops, loops, and crazy spins. Oh yeah! You had to see the camera captures of everyone’s weirdly gaping mouths and expressions to know what it felt like. This memory makes us laugh hard even now.

2020 for many turned out to be this ride. In contrast, we are nowhere near laughing. The stress we felt while on that ride was heightened but temporary. The anxiety we are feeling now is heightened but long-drawn and with no end in sight.


Why am I sharing this story?

To make a few empathic points in a lighter vein about reducing, not building stress, pertinent to today’s scenario.

While being a Wellness professional, it is my duty to keep reminding folks about the multifarious benefits of building fitness as a protective shield, I am cognizant of and sensitive to the observation that ‘fitness’ as a goal appears overbearing to many, frustrating to several, and impossible to others.

For starters, there is enough talk about stress all around. The last thing we want is to add to our list of stressors. ‘Fitness’, as a concept and its practice, should certainly not appear complex or daunting, especially if we want to avail of its powerful mental and emotional benefits, along with the physical.

What can you do to have a more practical, relaxed, and focused approach to “fitness” as a stress buster?

  • Set personal goals to serve your needs. Don’t be swept away or intimidated by what others do or claim to do. Comparison is the shortest route to sure misery.
  • Keep goals sensible and scalable. Be open to adjusting in response to life situations. I am not implying lowering the bar, escapism, or giving up on the first pretext. Rather, keeping goals realistic and allowing a few proactive tweaks will generate a feel-good factor.
  • Don’t rush into getting fit. It is a process. You can’t circumvent it. Embracing this reality will lower frustration levels and make the experience more enjoyable and successful.
  • Target regularity but don’t whip yourself up for missing a day or try making up by overdoing anything. Focus on the larger picture. The purpose is not to become a victim of routine, but to embrace a progressive practice.
  • If you haven’t started, embrace it now and feel the difference.

A small shift in perspective can help promote positivity in life and living and add meaning to our pursuits.


About Vani Pahwa

Vani B. Pahwa is Health & Wellness Evangelist, and Founder, Body In Motion, who specializes in Functional-Fitness, and Cancer Exercise & Rehabilitation. With almost 2 decades of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally-recognized fitness institutions, Vani is the leading Wellness Expert for Multinational Corporations and is a recognized Speaker and Coach. An Indian Classical Dancer, Vani encompasses her learnings from dance to everyday movement making “exercise and training for life, not just events.” To know more about Vani and her premium wellness services, visit


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