Meet Pooja Bhatia Arora. The woman who designed Hydrofit, talks to Protima Tiwary about her new fitness space.
This powerhouse performer did not let a diagnosis of arthritis de-rail her from her life path. She went ahead and made the pool her playground, improvising her workouts to design her own water fitness program. We caught up with her to know more about what makes Hydrofit the next big thing that people in the fitness space are talking about.
You designed Hydrofit, a water fitness program, after being diagnosed with arthritis. How did you come upon this decision?
I was obese as a child, and only realised the true importance of fitness when I was in my 20s. I went to the gym to lose weight. I stuck to cardio because back in my time “women and muscles” wasn’t really a thing. I ended up with muscle overuse injuries and in my 30s had to go through an ACL surgery after tearing a ligament. A year later I was diagnosed with arthritis. Now because I had been active and wanted to stay that way, the doctor advised me to do water workouts. That’s when I learnt about the benefits of water therapy and exercising in water. I had been a swimmer, so falling in love with water was easy for me.
When I started working out in water, I realised the general impression was that it was meant for old people only. I started improvising on the workouts and that’s when I decided to design Hydrofit.
How does Hydrofit benefit an athlete?
Hydrofit is an intense workout, and is in fact highly recommended for athletes and sportsmen for a whole bunch of reasons, namely;
- HIIT in water which basically gives you the same benefits of HIIT on land, but this time with a lesser impact on your joints.
- Water has more resistance hence you end up burning more calories.
- Hydrofit helps reduce muscle imbalances which might happen to an athlete during his training on land.
- Hydrofit is great even for injury management.
- There is no delayed onset of muscle soreness the way it happens in land workouts because the lactic acid build up is less.
What does your schedule look like?
I personally teach 2/3 sessions in a day at the Conrad in Bangalore. These are morning sessions held on weekdays.
Classes under my brand HydroFit run at other locations by my coaches.
How has the country responded to Hydrofit?
HydroFit has definitely got the fitness enthusiasts interested. Brands like Speedo endorse these workouts, people participate in the events and workshops held by the brands and we can see how everyone’s having fun while working out. I am confident that the future holds bigger things for Hydrofit, and it will soon be a regular workout and not just a niche workout that it is today.
What are your thoughts on the fitness industry in India?
The fitness industry in India is booming today. Everyone is conscious about health these days, it’s amazing. There are so many different interesting fitness formats that are available now and people can choose their favourites. It is buzzing and exciting and extremely promising.
But, at the same time, there is still a lack of a good legal system in place. Many unethical practices happen and uncertified people become trainers, causing more harm than good. I see many suffering injuries in gyms that don’t care much about personal attention for form correction, or the coach to participant ratio.