“I started a new life at 50 and I am thoroughly enjoying it.”
She is fun loving, friendly, extremely energetic and young at 51. Anitha Rao has been able to prove that small steps can have a big impact. She took to running at the age of 50 and says she is thoroughly enjoying it. In the last one year, she has been participating in few runs in the city on a regular basis. She also completed her first Oxfam Trail Walk last November in 39 hours. She shows no signs of slowing down. She says “Stay fit, Stay healthy’. She is now championing the ‘Active Sunday’ mission in Bengaluru. Let’s hear Anitha Rao’s journey to fitness.
I did my first half marathon (21 km) last year at the age of 50 when a friend suggested I could run. “I just loved it—the atmosphere, people cheering for you, and crossing the finish line after 2 hrs and 52 minutes felt so great. I was tired after that run the next day, but I loved the way I felt.”
It all began when I turned 50, I decided I was ready for a new challenge. Since I have always been an outdoor person I made it my goal to be fit and complete as many runs as possible. I have run so many runs such as the Standard Chartered Mumbai Half Marathon since Jan 2015. Thereafter, I have done a couple of runs such as the DNA I CAN, Pinkathon, ICT, Foot Steps 4 Good, Chembur Monsoon run and more recently Radio Mirchi Neon Run.
I was working in the Travel Industry, but due to my husband’s transferable job, and after the birth of my sons, I decided to enjoy motherhood. I became a homemaker and travel consultant working from home. My sons are now 24 and 18. I also realized I wanted to get back to doing some activities and get fit. I have always been sporty. I have been doing yoga and going swimming as well. I continue with the latter two even today.
But, I wanted to be more healthy and fit. Last year, I took up running seriously thanks to my friend Vijay Pillai, in my apartment building. I was not tracking my fitness and did not know what I was doing right or wrong.
Then, I met Bela Gupta through my dear friend Geeta Singh who gave me the GOQii band and explained its benefits to me and asked me to try it for three months. I got completely hooked on it. I liked the aspect of one to one coaching. I would put my problems across to my coach and she would have a solution and help work towards overcoming the issue.
Through GOQii, I also got to know a lot about diet and nutrition many of the things I was not aware of. At my age, I certainly do not want to compromise on my diet. Being a South Indian who cannot keep away from my sugary Filter Coffee. I have now given up sugar in my coffee. In November, I participated in the Oxfam 100 km trail walk and my team Go Spirited completed the challenge in 39 hours.We were 4 ladies Bela, Lubaina, Suranjana and me. But, Bela, unfortunately, had to drop out due to personal issues.
It’s amazing how by just walking and running one can keep themselves so fit. There are wonderful health benefits of putting one foot in front of the other. My family thinks that am going to the top (over doing it and asks me to slow down at times). But, I am comfortable doing as much as I am doing. I am happy with the change I have seen in myself. I have become healthier, fitter and my stamina has improved drastically. Today, I am confident to achieve what I set my goal on.
Daily, I clock 10000 or more steps and weekends it goes up easily up to 20,000 steps. I have been able to achieve all this because of the one to one coaching from GOQii. I have also benefited from the two webinars that GOQii’s master coach Luke Coutinho conducted. One of the webinars was on how to make the most of your coach? This gave me a clarity on how I can interact with my coach to get the maximum benefit out of coaching.
Coaching has benefited me on the nutrition front too. Now my concepts on diet are clear and I am conscious about what I am eating. I am basically a foodie and I exercise to eat. I have also understood the importance of sleep. I have always been a light sleeper but, now I sleep better. I get enough rest. Also, my concept of water is very clear. On an average now I am drinking 2 liters of water. I have no medical conditions, no cholesterol and no sugar.
I am regular at GOQii’s Active Sunday’s and this has given me an opportunity to meet so many people and make friends. My journey to fitness has also inspired a whole lot of my women friends around me. My friends in yoga are also keen on joining me for runs. I always feel that there are 100 reasons why you shouldn’t go out and go for a walk or run, but 1,000 reasons why you should, if you let go of the excuses, you will get it done. I would say have a goal and work towards it.
Without having something to work towards, you can’t plan or dream of what you’re going to accomplish. The goal doesn’t have to be huge, it can be to walk 10 km a week, but you need one to stay focused. The next outdoor activity I have just begun is trekking. I got interested in trekking after I did two practice treks for Oxfam Trail walk. Now I want to go regularly trekking as well.
Also, the concept of Karma has appealed to me a great deal. Every day I try to donate about 30-40 points so by the end of the month I have donated roughly 1000 points or so. Till date, I have donated 4596 Karma points. I just want to continue to be healthy and fit to be able to do continue with my runs, walks and other activities.
What does Coach Gunjan Chadha have to say about Anitha?
Anitha is a true representation of an active and upbeat individual. An outdoor person who loves to work out every day. Her drive for fitness is her adrenalin. She has a set routine of walking, swimming and yoga. Always ready to participate in marathons that come across. In her GOQii journey with me, she wanted to shed some extra kilos, increase water intake and replace her snacking with some healthy options. So we enacted goals accordingly. The first was to maintain a daily water intake of 2 liters and above. Secondly, I gave her some healthy snacking options. The GOQii concept of logging your water and food intake supported her in achieving these goals. It gave her a confrontation and magnitude daily of her efforts. She was regular in doing that and took my suggestion and inputs very positively and she also put them in action. She also would often contribute KARMA points for various causes. I am proud to have such an aware and dedicated individual as my player.