I always knew I wanted to get into the health and fitness field, having been a sports enthusiast (albeit not a professional one) all my life. I travelled around the world and India for about a year and then met John Gloster (former physiotherapist for the Indian Cricket team) who introduced me to this concept of simulated Altitude Training, which is where you simulate a low oxygen – high altitude environment. People who live at altitudes like Leh, Nepal, Mexico, Kenya, etc. are naturally really healthy people, right? Their skin is better, their lung capacity is better, there’s much lower cases of diabetes, obesity. Asthma is practically unheard of. I was immediately interested, so I went to Australia and qualified there as a Master trainer in Altitude Training.

Let me tell you, Altitude Training is NOT just another fad. It’s been used to train athletes for the past fifty years but it’s only recently that it’s been started to apply to the general population, and that’s what really caught my fancy. It was about finding a stream that will work here. I think people are dying to lose weight and reduce their tummy with different exercises and this a very healthy way to do it. Our country has gone berserk over fads and quick fixes and I’m telling you now, Altitude Training is not a fix. There is no other fix other than eating right. Everything else is a kick-start, which Altitude Training is a great example of. It’s an efficient way of training with a shorter time period and lesser intensity. Your joints aren’t under too much pressure and hence many people with health issues like diabetes, obesity, asthma and cardiac issues can benefit from altitude training. The beauty of Altitude Training is that one can do low-intensity exercises and still see results. We also see a lot of trekkers coming in before heading to the mountains so they cut down on acclimatization time. With athletes, we practice this method called Intermittent Hypoxic Training, it involves putting the athlete through alternate blocks of training and sleeping at high altitude. We’ve found this does wonders for fat loss as well.

Our Altitude Training sessions are tailored to the client and their needs – I’m somebody who believes in being very goal specific. The workouts differ from person to person, whether it’s a swimmer, a cricketer, a sprinter etc. looking to better their skills, or a diabetic who simply wants to be healthier. We worked with Farhan Akhtar forBhaag Milkha Bhaag, and the results were brilliant. In the movie he had to shoot running scenes in Ladakh and we actually pre-acclimatised him for it. It worked out great, and he still trains with us because he loves the technology. As do Rohit Sharma, Preity Zinta, Robin Uthappa and Alia Bhatt, whom we’ve worked with. Then there was Dr. Murad Lala, who is a cancer surgeon and a celebrity in my eyes. He gifted himself an Everest Summit climb as a 50th birthday present and was really religious about coming in for his training to prepare.

As it’s more aerobic with less intensity, the room for customization is plenty. No matter what exercise you do in the Altitude room, you’d still be burning more calories than you would doing those same exercises in an uncontrolled environment. One of the most effective advantages of altitude training is for marathon runners and running enthusiasts!

Bottom line - Altitude training is ALL about optimising the body’s usage of oxygen. We make the body into an efficient O2 transporter. The body needs oxygen for everything - breathing, digestion and even recovering from injuries; we help it do what it does in the best possible way.

To know more about altitude training, read about the Fitternity team trial.

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