New Delhi, Dec 6 : Running a marathon can be exhausting, especially amidst the summer heat which lasts until the end of October in our country - sometimes, even early November. The following months, nonetheless, get better, making them more suitable for running a marathon.
With the weather conditions improving, there are over 350 marathons scheduled to take place before 2022 ends and marathon tourism on the rise - we officially enter the season that marathon runners rejoice.
Therefore if you're someone who's beginning to take marathons seriously as an athlete or a tourist, Nikhil Kapur, Co-Founder and Director of Atmantan Wellness Centre, who has himself participated five times in the Ironman Triathlon, gives you an insight:
What does wellness mean to you?
NK: It's a way of life where I take decisions that are beneficial for my well-being. The choices that I take keep me positive and aligned with my goals. So besides the exercise and nutrition quotients (which was be the only aspects of wellness for someone), having one's thoughts and actions aligned is more important. Wellness is also about wearing an attitude which rubs off or inspires others too. Lastly, It's also about contributing to the health of the community in any way, as to be "well" is not an 'I' concept, but something that one does better when in numbers and with support.
What initially motivated you to switch from being a working professional to a wellness entrepreneur? NK: I was always sure that I would eventually have my own enterprise. I had also always been drawn towards sports and a healthy lifestyle thanks to my father. When the time came, my wife and I saw this requirement for wellness travel/healing holidays that used the best of Indian sciences and observed that there really was no destination that offered people looking for... results and happy transformations; We knew then that this is what we would pursue after our b school and after getting a few years of work experience.
The concept of a wellness holiday is pretty simple. We live complex lives and in the bargain ruin our health. We then try to turn healthy by trying to eat right, going to yoga/gym etc. And as an extension of then, when we do travel, we look for more and we tend to look for destinations that are an extension of our newly acquired healthy lifestyle. This is where Atmantan is seeded. We offer result-oriented programmes for consumers who want to treat their chronic lifestyle ailments using alternative sciences.
According to you, how can one strive to achieve holistic wellness keeping in mind that the concept of wellness is multiplayer? NK: Wellness is multidimensional. Most of us need some guidance to understand the structure of our body, mind and soul complex. Understanding these concepts brings clarity to how to live life - with happiness while achieving longevity. I believe this is the key to holistic health, where one gains a deeper understanding of these concepts along with personalised learnings (of the lifestyle we follow). It's a continuous, ongoing process. That said, one need not get overwhelmed at the thought of an all-composite solution, as each one of us can walk this path at our own pace.
How should one train for a longer, quicker marathon? NK: When training, one should keep in mind that faster timings require...
A structured coaching plan
Needs professional guidance
If you are above the age of 35, then you should get your blood work and tests done (including Dopler and stress tests) to ensure that you are in good cardiac health. Some techniques which will enhance endurance and performance are- Interval training. This is something that helps performance leap ahead, And there are many effective interval drills to bring the desired result. One of my favs is the fartlek training, which is challenging and very satisfying too. In this training, while maintaining a certain cardio tempo, one switches to an increased pace every few mins.
Strength training. Needless to say, this needs to be every athlete's foundation.
Cross-training on other days. This helps bring multidisciplinary fitness to you. E.g. I used to alternatively play tennis and cycle and this helped me reduce my soreness from a previous day's run, and accelerate my recovery.
What does a promising training plan look like? NK: A good training programme will have a purpose and structure along with recovery days.
What suggestions do you have for folks getting ready to become Marathon tourists? NK: Always have access to coaching, nutritional advice and physio support when picking destinations. Travelling along with participating in endurance activities takes a more serious toll on our body than we sometimes realise, so pace yourself and listen to your body. Lastly, never underestimate the power of sleep, which is a magical healing pill we all have access to.
What can one anticipate for business and consumer behaviour in the wellness sector in 2023? NK: The consumer continues to get more data-driven. We see great innovation happening in the app space around wearables too.
We foresee a demand for wellness real estate. Consumers will choose to live in spaces that inspire well-being, and also make it easy to make healthy choices.
More wellness in traditional hospitality; There will be a consistent increase in demand for wellness centres/resorts offering result-oriented programmes.
Higher interest in innovative concepts such as adding softer wellness experiences to wildlife lodges, nature getaways, beachside destinations etc.
(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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