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The Fitness Business

by Chai Li Tiing, bizhive@theborneopost.com. Posted on October 14, 2012, Sunday

In recent years, the cat city has seen a rise in the number of health and fitness establishments – a landscape that is in stark contrast with just a decade ago, when there was virtually no semblance of an exercising culture among the Kuching city folk.

In a place where development is picking up pace rapidly, people are inevitably seeing many aspects of their lives change in tandem with the city’s changes.

Among the changes that can be observed include an increasingly fastpaced lifestyle and work culture, better access to higher education and heightened standards of living.

These aspects, coupled with more exposure to foreign cultures from technological advancement, have set the stage for an increased awareness about the importance of health and bigger demand for fitness related facilities.

On the other hand, people are finding themselves chained to their desks and keeping indoors more and more as the Internet and online games take precedence over outdoor activities and sports.

In the modern fast food-eating couch-potato culture, the latent realisation has proven timely as body-building and group fitness exercises such as yoga, Pilates as well as the latest Zumba see a surge in popularity among Kuching folks.

There has been a longstanding misconception that exercises and workouts are aimed at losing weight per se.

As such, many made excuses for not exercising or believed that they were leading a healthy life, therefore need not make any changes.

However, an increasing number of yuppie s have brought on a shift in the fitness paradigm, likely influenced by western culture.

Having been exposed to external cultures through cable TV and the internet from a young age, a fresh crop of young professionals have been increasingly educated in the importance of exercising regularly.

Previously, people were also generally sceptical about the importance of a proper exercising environment and qualified instructors.

They were of the mindset that exercising can be done on one’s own, instead of paying for the services of an instructor and the usage of gym equipments.

With proper research and study, one can manage to adopt a proper exercising culture, thereby avoiding possible injuries resulting from exercising in the wrong method or form.

However, these fitness facilities provide us with another opt ion: qualified instructors who would be guiding one’s every step coupled with the proper equipment and an environment tailored to motivate people to push the envelope.

In the wake of an increasing realisation of the importance of a proper exercise regimen and professional advice, these locally-based fitness enthusiasts have managed to ride the fitness craze and set up more fitness related establishments to cater to the needs of Kuchingites.

This week, BizHive Weekly explores some of the different fitness facilities available here, from the initial pioneers to the latest and more unique fitness services.

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