Fit & Fabulous, Always
Interview with Mrs.Vijaya Chamundeeswari
1.What brought you to SPARRC and describe your experience with us.
Dr. Kannan Pugazhendhi is not alien to me as I too am in the field of fitness with certifications in ACE ; REEBOK and Integral Yoga Institute; PIA(Pilates) and a few other workshops which I can list out. Believe me and I sincerely mean it – all these certifications mean nothing but sheets of paper that you can show off, unless – you connect your passion and aptitude to it and continue to upgrade and update your knowledge. The more number of clients you work on the more knowledge you gain. One day I accompanied my sister Dr. Kamala Selvaraj to SPARRC who was ailing very well. She insisted that I take a look at the gym that was functioning in the floor above and gave me a free trial card that I made good use of for a week. I was so very impressed by the way it was functioning. No flashy colours and posters on the plain clean wall but space that made you move freely. It was a safety first attitude here, with a team of committed and passionate trainers who greeted us cheerfully at every session. I did get treated for tightness in my upper arm which doctor diagnosed as a weakness in the upper back and shoulder for which he gave me a trigger release treatment and I don’t even remember where it did exist now. Only an experienced doctor who works more on knowledge based on application, rather than the net or books, would know where the switch is to put off that particular spark of a pain. A few sessions of recovery exercises and I was all set to start my fitness training here. Where else can I even want to go? This place just sparked off that fire in me to get back to my original fitness state or may be even better. Tailor made work outs with periodical variations made me look forward to that ‘me time’ at SPARRC. Remember our school days when as soon as the bell rings after class, how we used to rush to the playground! Now I look forward to sun rise to meet my friends and play with them at SPARRC.
- How does exercise help you handle your everyday activity. How did it help in moulding a healthy lifestyle
Exercising regularly sets the neural path to carry out our daily activity with ease and care. I insist on driving the car myself. Turning the bubble top over when the water is empty is my job at home. My grand children enjoy playing with me as I run around and climb trees along them. My one year old granddaughter gurgles with laughter as I rock her up and down on my lower leg while I lie on my back( Ab work out for me actually). I live on the 17th floor and did manage to climb all the flights (just checking my level of fitness in an emergency) without hurting my knee since I knew the right way to hold my posture and step up perfectly. My fitness is very infectious with my family members and friends so I create a healthy atmosphere around me. NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) as we call it, happens automatically because we are physically active and it helps to keep our weight in check, in spite of our small pleasures in cheat – eats. Cardio releases happy endorphins and increases our volume of oxygen consumption which keeps us energized through the day. The core strength that we achieve through balance workouts trains our mind to stay focused and maintain equilibrium even when we are pushed hither and thither emotionally.
- Was exercise always part of your life
Yes. Parents play a very important role in setting a good example. Especially in the formative years which I would say is by the time we are 10 years old.8 pm we got tucked into bed and we automatically got up before sunrise. I have seen my dad get up at 4 in the morning, do his yoga and drive down to the club with his tennis racket. We had a gym at home with a punching bag hanging down the center which was my play area as a kid. Little did I realize that the seeds of passion for fitness were being sown. Mom was a foodie but that never stopped her from swimming like a fish or wielding the shuttle racket at home. Mom and dad had their shooting schedules which kept them on their toes through the day and sometimes night too. They led an activity filled life style and unawares we children got to follow the same.
- Did sport play a role right from your childhood
I was an athlete in school being the 3rd runner always in the 4×100 meter relay. Javelin and high jump too were my favorites. I was more in the track and field than in the bat and ball court.
- Women normally claim to have no time to pay attention to themselves. Your view on the same.
Forget women, no time is the number one reason that anybody gives for not exercising. Time is always there. It is we who do not fit ourselves into it. Proper planning by prioritizing our health needs is all that we need to do. Men have been the gatherers and women the nurturers from time immemorial. What we fail to notice is that both gathering and nurturing involve physical work. It is just the kind of work that is different which suits the need. So need specific workouts are what we work on while exercising. What good is a six pack or a flat tummy if you are going to be lazing through the day before the T.V or prattling away amidst smoke and alcohol in a pub! So catch time and harness it to your health before time catches you unawares. Traditional women still feel awkward to even think about staying fit as they attribute fitness to modernity, style and figure consciousness rather than health and prevention of disease. It is the responsibility of the men in their lives and the children to share the household responsibilities and wipe away this so called feminine modesty which is detrimental to the entire family.
6.Your opinion on the recent success of the movie Nadigayar Thilagam and the impact it has had on audiences.
A phenomenal success, which none of us expected to this extent. We knew that mom was and is a favourite amongst many especially the earlier generation. But to see youngsters and children watch it with awe shows that it is not only mom’s artistic talent and beauty that has enamored the viewers but her humane nature of loving, giving and sharing whatever she had. Viewers got to see and understand that under those layers of paint, light and glamour there beats a simple heart filled with the same emotions that all of us have. No achievement is a cake walk. There is a lot of pit falls before you reach that summit. So Nadigayar Thilagam connected deeply with the audience whatever the age, whatever the cast, creed or nationality. As her child I stay blessed. Thanks to the entire team that has worked so hard to achieve this through a very powerful medium – Cinema.
- Did you and your mother indulge in playing Sports or Games or any Fitness related activity.
Mom loved swimming. She used to dive in one end and surface in the other in a jiffy. Playful as she was she used to swim underwater when we were not aware and pinch our toes making us splutter and cough as we slipped inside the pool in shock. We used to climb trees to pluck fruits and flowers and jump down much to the irritation of my grandmom. Festivals like Krishna Jayanthi were celebrated along with our helping staff at home when we used to throw mugs of colour water on the players who were blind folded and made to hit a pot tied overhead with a long bamboo pole. Fun and frolic elbowed into the little time that was available between her busy schedules.
- Your likes and dislikes when it comes to exercising
I love my workouts as long as they stay in my thresh hold of effort. Too little or too much makes me either lethargic or tired. Variety does add spice to our workouts but too much variety makes me lose focus. To put it in simple terms moderation helps me to stay regular.
- One wise tip you would like to leave for our readers
Exercise under able guidance. Correct moves can do you a whale of good. One wrong move can be very detrimental to your health. Nothing comes free in life. Let us spend our hard earned money on this body machine that has helped us to achieve our goals. This body is a gift from our parents. It is a symbol of their love and care. Love your body as much as you would love your parents and take care of it. Cheers to enjoying your work outs.