Right on track

Right on track

Fitness lane

Right on track

That Bengaluru has a fitness-crazy crowd is no secret. But while initially the city’s infrastructure was not able to keep pace with the running crowd (pun intended), times are changing now. The newly constructed jogging and running tracks at several locations across the city have brought cheer to fitness enthusiasts and are even serving as an incentive for others to hit the ground.

Exclusive jogging tracks at a few places across the city, such as at Babusapalya in Kalyan Nagar and Sankey Tank, draw a lot of people. At a time when even pedestrian paths are hard to find, these enclosed spaces are a huge boost to the fitness-conscious community in the city. Talking about the importance of such spaces, Vijayaraghavan Venugopal, a marathon runner, observes that people who walk or jog on the road are at a risk of being hit by speeding vehicles. “People want safer places to exercise. There have been many instances where even cyclists have been knocked down so one can imagine the plight of joggers,” says Vijayaraghavan. He also points out that dedicated jogging tracks help because the existing parks are crowded and don’t cater to the increasing population. 

While a workout at the gym ensures that one exercises in a disciplined way, Keertana Ramu, a nutritionist, feels that one can relax best in open spaces. “Dedicated jogging tracks are a motivation for those who can’t afford to pay huge subscriptions at gyms. During my jogs, I see people of all age groups walking or simply meditating. Priority is given to constructing flyovers and widening roads but the authorities must also spare a thought to devoting more spaces for people,” feels Keertana.

Adding to these views is Uma Numburi, a resident of Sarjapur Road, who doesn’t believe in working out behind closed doors and prefers the outdoors. She wishes to see more such tracks being developed in the city. “ This will encourage people to get out of the gyms and work out in the open. There are two things that most people look out for when they go jogging. One is safety and the other is accessibility. These two factors determine where people want to exercise,” says Uma. A part of  several communities that organise events related to running, she feels that such events will encourage people to use walking and jogging tracks in the city.

Choosing to take a different view is B J Vikram, an entrepreneur, who feels the culture of running and jogging has not caught on in the city as much as it has in the West and it will take a lot more effort and time for the concept to really catch on.

“The city’s infrastructure doesn’t encourage people to walk, jog or even go running. There are only a few places in the city that have dedicated lanes for people. If more of these come up, then it will encourage people to get more serious about maintaining good health,” says Vikram.