Daniel Fernandez, a 25-year-old BPO employee based in Goregaon, has an erratic work schedule. On some days, he is done by 10 pm and on others, work continues till 3 am. Despite his odd work hours, Fernandez manages to hit the gym almost everyday after work. Thanks to the rising number of all-night gyms, the “no-time-for-a-workout” excuse is fast becoming invalid in Mumbai. Fernandez says, “I go to the gym anytime between 1 am and 4 am, depending on when my work finishes. It’s peaceful to exercise in the dead of the night. No traffic to beat, no noise and I don’t have to fight for the treadmill.” Like Fernandez, scores of night owls are lining up at city gyms late at night to stay in shape.
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Anytime Fitness, which has branches in Khar and Andheri, has seen a 20 to 30% rise in the number of people that use the gym in the small hours. Badal Makwana, its director, says, “We have at least 30 to 40 people that work out in each of our branches between 12 am and 4 am. We provide dedicated trainers at that hour. In Mumbai, round-the-clock fitness centres are the need of the hour. The city is awake till wee hours, so why not cater to this need?”
Clients at these hours include actors, models, airline staff, call centre executives, media professionals, corporates, etc., who don’t have a fixed work schedule. Some housewives and new mothers prefer this time too, as they can put their babies to sleep and then work out peacefully. Most of the gyms that stay open round the clock have safety and security systems in place, with CCTVs, access cards, etc.
Shanky Chhabra, manager of Snap Fitness in Goregaon, says that a 24×7 gym is a great incentive for people to start working out. “From cardio, stretches, flexibility to strength, we offer all workouts post midnight too. We even conduct bootcamps before the day breaks. In Mumbai, by the time people travel from work to their homes beating the chaos on the streets, it’s almost midnight. Therefore, night gyms are a big hit here.”
Chhabra adds his facility is visited by several corporates, bankers and engineers who work in and around Goregaon and have schedules that drag till late.
Many of the trainers say working out late can be a great stress buster and ‘exercising late is unhealthy’ is a myth. As Sachin Kavankar, manager of El Gymnasio in Malad that is open round the clock, points out, “Most people who work out late are accustomed to their bodies staying up late. If people can go clubbing and drinking in the night, exercising is a much harmless option.”