Puneeth’s death casts a shadow over Mysuru gyms and fitness centers

The sudden death of actor Puneeth Rajkumar after a gym workout has cast a shadow over the gym and fitness industry in Mysuru, which was just starting to take off after the COVID-19 setback.

While attendance at gyms and fitness centers on Saturday, a day after Puneeth’s death, was very low, owners and managers are hopeful that attendance improves from Monday. The topic of discussion, even among the few, who showed up for training on Saturday, centered on the actor’s untimely death and the impact of high-intensity, strenuous exercise on the heart.

Describing Puneeth’s death as unfortunate, Sreejith, who runs a fitness center in Bannimantap, said he was wary of unfounded rumors that could harm the industry which was hit hard during the lockdown. A fan of the Kannada actor Mr. Sreejith said people may start to use tragedy as an excuse to avoid daily exercise.

However, he stressed that medical advice remained in favor of daily exercise even after the actor’s demise. “Doctors have only warned people about going overboard and overworking the heart. Exercising in moderation doesn’t hurt anyone, it will only be beneficial, ”said Sreejith, who has been training people for over two decades now.

Meanwhile, Harsha, president of the Mysuru Gym and Fitness Center Owners Association, has ruled out the possibility that people will stop exercising due to Puneeth’s death. He was hoping people would return to their gyms in the next few days. He said the necessary steps would be taken by the association to ensure that gym goers are strictly assessed for any medical history and counseled prior to admission so that a proper exercise program is followed. It will also ensure that the gym trainers are qualified and have a formal certificate from a reputable training institute.

Mr Harsha said the association has launched a month-long Fit Mysuru campaign, starting November 1, offering free two-day training to people at one of its 250 member gyms. It aims to raise awareness of exercise and educate the public about physical fitness and adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle. “This campaign also aims to shatter myths about gyms and the fitness industry,” he said.

He said the camp is open to anyone over the age of 6. In addition to lifting weights, people will also be exposed to Zumba, dancing, yoga, aerobics, etc., he said.

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