Fitness Anxiety: Are Other People Better at Weight Loss?

Do you ever look into the mirror and think if you’re enough? You know, if other people are working out more than you, or are losing more weight than you. You’re so busy looking at other people that your own health and workout goals can seemingly go unnoticed in a sea of potential bad judgments and self-doubt.


This article will review the facts on how other people are not necessarily better than you and why this anxiety is actually counterproductive to reaching your full health/fitness potential. The term “fitness anxiety” was originally coined by Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of social medicine at Boston University. To paraphrase what he wrote in the article: new research suggests that people who are obsessed with others’ lives and aims are less likely to work out themselves.




Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study found that people who are obsessed with other people’s health are less likely to work out themselves. LiveScience explains, “People who perceive other adults as more fit and healthy are about half as likely to engage in leisure time physical activity than those who believe they are about as fit and healthy as others.”


The first part of this report seems to strike some truth from all observations over the years. This could explain why we’ve seen many friends give up their weight loss goals because they were seeing how others were achieving them. Now, we’re not saying that you are less fit, healthy or even that if you don’t achieve your goals that it’s your fault. What we’re saying is that you will never actually know if you are enough unless you have a health, fitness or weight loss goal to work towards.

You can’t see yourself from the outside, that’s the folly of human nature.  As long as another person is achieving what you want, you’re always going to feel that you’re behind in life as compared to your family, friends and colleagues. We put this obsession with health and our own goals down to other people’s lifestyle and manners being our barometer for success.


The article continues:


Every day, we’re barraged with news reports and television shows about other people’s life, their fit bodies and nutritious diets. We may think they are more fit and healthy than we think we are. According to the study, this perception can lead to feelings of sadness, isolation, guilt and anxiety. For example, if you see someone at the gym working out six days a week while you only work out three times a week, you might feel sad that you’re not meeting your own standards for yourself. You might also feel isolated because you believe that other people are more fit than you even though they may be just normal adults who are much like other people.


Furthermore, you might feel guilty because you think you’re not meeting your health goals and that you should be better off than others (or even just as good). Lastly, if you’re obsessed with others’ habits and diets , it can lead to feelings of anxiety because of comparing yourself.


If this is in fact true, then we are creating an entire generation of “fitness” anxious individuals who may only succeed by comparison. This is a pretty scary outlook and one that we should definitely avoid.


The Solution to Fitness Anxiety:


  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people and their success. You’ll never know if you are enough until you set a goal for yourself and begin working towards it.


  1. Focus on your true goals, not the person beside you or someone you know who is “doing it better” than you.


  1. If social media is a source of anxiety for you, then limit the amount of time you spend looking at it or simply avoid it completely (at least during your health/fitness time). Weight loss is a mindset, and is something that you should be doing just for YOU. 


  1. If your anxiety is brought on from friends that have different habits and health/fitness goals than you, respectfully decline the invitation to do things besides your usual routine (if it’s a repeated problem). Don’t socialize with unhealthy individuals, or people who take away your energy,  if you want to be healthy.


  1. Realize that we are all individuals and you don’t have to look like the person next to you or even the person on TV. Social media makes it seem like everyone else’s life is better than yours but in reality, they are just projecting what they want out of life and not necessarily what they actually have.


Hence, in conclusion, stop comparing yourself to others. You keep hearing this everywhere, but why should you actually do it? Because no one can see who you truly are underneath your outside appearance. You’ll never know if you are enough until you set a goal for yourself and begin working towards it. And fun fact: you only need to be “enough” for yourself. If your healthy lifestyle and nutrition goals are more personal than others, not just like everyone else’s, then just embrace your life and do what YOU want to do.


If you’re more interested in helping others succeed than being fit yourself, then by all means help them out but don’t allow that to be your barometer for success. Simply put, fitness/health anxiety can be counterproductive when the person experiencing it is someone who has no health, fitness or weight loss goals of their own. So find a healthy means of meeting your goals that won’t cause you anxiety because in the end, other people will still get there and achieve their own personal health goals before you do.


What’s your fitness anxiety like? Are you able to set your goals and move past those who are on the same path as you towards a goal or do you constantly compare yourself to others? Take out some time for personal self reflection and growth as you think about this. 


Fitness Wellness

Virtual Run and the Inefficiency Pandemic

In a time when everything is on your computer, we hope you’ve been adjusting well. Transitioning from everything being in person to suddenly staring at a laptop screen for hours on end was of course, tough for all of us. Everyone is struggling to buy a new pair of ‘blue light glasses’ online and suddenly doing eye exercises. Hours of zoom meetings, after-work FaceTime meetups with friends, and family nights playing some online games. School, college and work, all of it upended. When every part of our lives has been uploaded online, why not our fitness as well? Following online YouTube workouts and routines is not enough sadly. We’re all bound to give up at some time, especially because we’re doing it all alone. 


What we’re lacking most during this pandemic is a sense of community and togetherness. While some of us have been quarantining with family or loved ones, a few have been quarantining alone. While this is detrimental to their mental health, it also doesn’t bode well for their physical health. So how do we translate physical wellbeing to its online counterpart? The answer is: virtual runs. These can be participated in at any location of your choosing, making it a perfect choice for a pandemic fitness routine. You can do it virtually at your own home using a treadmill. Or if you prefer the open air, you can safely exercise outside in your own neighbourhood. You can run at your own pace, over a period of days depending on what type of virtual run you choose. 


One of the most important pros of app runs is the fact that it is entirely on your own terms. You don’t need to stress out about the start or end of the track, because you’re the one deciding when or where it is. If you have a stressful day at work and just want to unwind for about 20 minutes, you don’t need to finish the exercise from start to end. You create your own progress, so no added hassle, apart from school/college/work obviously. What’s more is that you don’t even have to run the entire distance. You can walk or jog as you like. Depending on your energy level and your mood, you can adjust your fitness routine. 


Moreover, some of these events also support charities and causes, just like in-person marathons. This can help you give back to your community or a cause you particularly believe in and want to contribute to. No matter which cause you support, be it awareness or prevention of diseases, support of disadvantaged groups or helping animals, there is probably a virtual event you can look for that can support the same. Hence, you will be able to achieve your personal fitness goals while helping a good cause. Also, considering the monsoon season is coming up, you don’t have to postpone your exercise even if it’s raining.  You can still be on track and achieve your weight loss or fitness goals at home, regardless of the weather. 


A virtual run provides you the option to set and achieve your goals. Even though you won’t be competing next to hundreds of runners like in a real marathon, you will have the same objective and goal. These consolidate a sense of community in the same way a marathon does. A 2017 study showed that the benefits of social media for female Olympic athletes was that they could connect with their fellow athletes. This is especially important during a pandemic when building connections is more important than ever. Through this online exercise, you can inspire and motivate other runners, while gaining motivation yourself. Build and beat your own personal record using these, especially using mobile apps such as!


Furthermore, when things go back to normal, which might be sooner than we think, you will be ready to tackle in-person marathons. While completing one at home, you will be building your tolerance and stamina for a real life jog. Your new skills and practice can be applied to marathons, races e.t.c. and a good tool for practice. If you’ve never completed a marathon before, you can measure your current capability and create a plan to improve as you get closer to your marathon date. You can work to your final objective, i.e. running a 5k or 10k. Hence, they can create positive energy within you by motivating and encouraging you to work harder in preparation for any future events. 


Even though an online run is not a proper race, you must prepare for one as if it is an actual one. This is to enhance performance and reduce any injury during the exercise. Prep for this may include warm up exercises, stretches and eating well before you do it. Make sure you’re ready with a bottle of water and all your exercise gear, which includes proper well fitting shoes. Preparation also includes checking in on your mental state. This may be before, after or during the virtual run to make sure you’re not pushing yourself beyond your capacity. Training by yourself and running a virtual event is more difficult than if it were a regular one.

You can work on mental strategies, positive self-talk and motivation to get you to finish with flying colours. We at can help you do this as well. We provide fun, exciting opportunities and allow you to complete at your own time and pace. Choose your own distance and win goodies on completion. There will be other participants as well, and the social feature allows you to connect with other runners. 


Hence, this form of exercise is a wonderful way to start your fitness journey and work towards a healthier, fitter you. You don’t need to wait until gyms open up or lockdowns are lifted, because you can do this from the comfort of your home or neighbourhood. No need to worry about keeping track and staying on course, because an app does that job for you! So enjoy your workout routine and participate in a virtual run today!

Fitness Wellness

Biking to Avoid a Mental Health Pandemic

We all remember the good old days where we would look forward to summer vacations, right? Not just the golas and the mangoes, but also the sweet, sweet tantalizing call of a jobless month and a half. No waking up early, no homework. Just you and the endless possibilities of a hot summer day. Fast forward to today, you sit and fantasize about the open, fresh air as we all suffer through an endless summer of work, anxiety and lockdowns. A deadline here, a meeting there and a weekend that seems so close, yet so far. The end of the lockdown seems out of reach, and you’re looking to alleviate all that stress. Don’t worry! We have a solution, and an amazing throwback to your childhood summer. Bike those pandemic blues away. 


Ofcourse, they do not have to be road bike rides, you can use a home cycle as well. If you do feel it is safe enough to go out in your area, make sure you take appropriate precautions, such as a mask, sanitizer e.t.c. Physically, regular cycle rides and biking have a plethora of benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness, improved muscle strength, better posture and of course, decreased fat levels. It is a great aerobic activity and hence your blood vessels and lungs work extra harder. This will make you breathe harder and deeper, and increases your body temperature. But not sure how to start? Get an iPhone app for cycling and you’re good to go. They track your progress and help in cycling tracking as well!


You might also need some tips for bike riding and to start cycling. Don’t worry, we got you! First of all, always wear a helmet, and a good fitting one, so you can start your safe cycling. Invest in a kit (if you plan on doing it long term) such as bike locks, riding shorts, shoes and tire pumps. It’s not going to be easy at first, you have to get comfortable and build your motivation, just like any other fitness routine or habit. Start small and grow from there. For example, you can’t really jump directly to something as difficult as off road cycling. Rather, start in your local neighbourhood (but only if it’s safe), and start tracking your progress using various cycling challenges. Get familiar with your own body, and understand your own limitations. 


This is also a great way to loosen up, and relieve some stress and anxiety that you’ve been dealing with. It’s especially because it is low impact and not as intense as other forms of workouts. You can control the intensity of the workout, making it as high or low intensity. Ofcourse, just like any other form of exercise, this releases endorphins that make you feel happy and elated. And most importantly, it’s a fun way to get healthy. It gives you an excuse to go get some fresh air, admire your surroundings and be at peace (even if it’s just for a little bit). Doing it outdoors is better than any other exercise form where you are required to stay indoors, especially when you use an app for bicycle!


Also, what’s more is that this easy cycling can have amazing long term benefits. In 2011, a few studies showed that exercises like biking improve brain power and can help in warding off neurological disorders such as Alzhiemer’s in later stages of life. Moreover, in 2014, a study concluded that even children benefit greatly from biking. It can help in correcting early stage disorder such ADD, which is attention deficit disorder. And the best news: it can help you dodge cancer! Yes, you read that right. Any form of exercise can help you lower your risk of cancer, but this is a really fun way to do it.

A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied that 14,000 men who were fitter than their counterparts had a lower risk of colorectal and lung cancer. This exercise is also a great way to push your life expectancy boundary upwards. A 2011 study showed that Tour De France bicycle race riders had a 17% higher life expectancy than the general population. Tour de France pros had an average expectancy of 81.5 while the average French population had a life expectancy of 73.5 years. Another disease that it can fight off is Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder that causes shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. Nerve cell damage causes the amount of dopamine, which stimulates the feelings of anticipation and joy, to drop which leads to the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. A 2018 study showed that vigorous exercise such as biking can lead to lower risk of Parkinson’s disease in men. The study suggests that three hours of biking in a week at 10-12 miles per hour is enough to stave off this disease. 


Hence, it is proven that cycling or biking can have multiple benefits, physical and mental. Physical benefits include cardiovascular fitness, prevention of neurological diseases and early stage mental disorders. It also lowers the risk of cancer and Parkinson’s disease while significantly increasing life expectancy. Mentally, biking can release some of the anxiety and stress that the pandemic has caused. This is especially because this is an easy, fun and low-impact exercise for all ages.

Whether you are still in school, a.k.a. the good old days, or if you’re retired or anywhere in between, cycling is a great way to blow off some steam in a safe, COVID free way. You don’t need any excess equipment or a lot of free time. You can easily fit it easily in your schedule, morning or night without any hassle. And apart from all of that, it is a great way to burn some calories and lose weight easily. No gym membership fees and no expensive equipment purchasing. You simply have to utilise a skill you learnt back when your summers were perfect, and use them to turn this summer the right side up. Wish you happy and easy cycling!



The Feast of Employees

You are what you eat, right? If your employees (and you) are eating unhealthy junk, they’re going to feel like it eventually. Their diet is ultimately going to affect productivity (which is important considering work-from-home). So what should they be feasting on instead? Here is what you should encourage them to try:

  • First of all, put down that bag of chips. You’re probably going to fill up eating that greasy fried potato and end up feeling dissatisfied with yourself. And before you head for that Cadbury bar, you shouldn’t be eating that either. Sorry 🙁
  • But, wait! Before you get disappointed, you can still eat chocolate. Dark chocolate, specifically. The magnesium in the chocolate helps with workplace stress and anxiety, and the caffeine and sugar in it gives you just enough energy to work!
  • Also what if we told you that your mom was right? A banana is an amazing work-day snack. It has enough glucose, which powers you and helps you stay productive. 
  • Switch out your masala chai or coffee with green tea. We know you’re probably groaning at this, but hear us out. You can indulge in chai or coffee once in a while (a weekend treat!). But green tea gives you nutrition and productivity.
  • Switch out white rice with brown rice. Brown rice has more nutrients and doesn’t contain ‘empty calories’ like white rice. No more sleepy afternoons! 
  • And, last but not least, chug that water. Always have a full bottle of water next to you so that you’re not procrastinating getting a glass of water (we all do that). 

Now you know how you and your employees can make small adjustments to their snacks and meals to create a more healthy, wholesome diet. Feast on this!


Your 2021 Survival Kit

Scared this year is going to be 2020 version 2? Not at all, because we’re here to help! While you trudge through endless zoom calls and deadlines, we have 10 ways to help you stay productive and motivated throughout the week (and the second COVID wave):

  • Get ready for your day! Go through your routine as you normally would if you weren’t working from home. This will also help you feel fresh and ready for the day.
  • Have a fixed routine in the morning and evening after work. This will give you something to look forward to and help you feel organized!
  • Set up your home office well. Make sure you have your own corner (no distractions; be far away from your TV)  with everything you’ll need for the day. 
  • Exercise! We can’t stress how important this is. Even if you can’t go to the gym, virtual fitness is a great option. Virtual marathons and run trackers, we have it all (wink, wink).
  • Catch up with your team-mates. Virtual team activities such as a trivia night helps reduce stress and bond with your co-workers!
  • If you don’t live alone, ask your family/roommates to be respectful of your workspace and work hours (and you’ll do the same!). 
  • Don’t underestimate the power of small breaks. Take 5-10 min breaks every time you feel overwhelmed. Read a few pages of your book or listen to music!
  • Always pay attention to your water intake and diet. Make sure you’re drinking enough water and getting all those nutrients! Dehydration and hunger can make you a cranky co-worker.
  • Have fixed working hours. You know how they say don’t bring work home with you? That’s obviously not possible here. So have a fixed log-in and log-off time so that you don’t overexert yourself. 
  • And if nothing works, try the age old solution to every problem: take a walk. Clear your head for about 10 mins, but make sure you’re wearing a mask!

Be a Super-Hero while being Super-Fit

‘Huh?’ is probably what you thought when you read that title. How can you save the planet while not skipping leg day? While you probably don’t think about the environment while working out, there is a way you can incorporate it positively in your workout routine. But why should you? Even if you don’t go to the gym daily (or probably even monthly), your workout habits definitely have an environmental footprint. And not the good kind. So read on to find out how you can adjust your gym habits to help our planet. But, hey, listen: the first step is actually going to the gym.

  • To reduce your negative environmental impact, stop taking long showers. Whether it be at home or at the gym itself, long showers lead to a LOT of water loss. 10 minutes of showering a day leads to a loss of about 51,000 litres of water every day. Better still, go full desi and opt for a bucket bath instead! 
  • If you’re a gym freak, you surely have a proteinaceous diet. Which means primarily eating meat products, especially chicken. But it’s better for the environment if you switch to a vegetarian diet. We know what you’re thinking: ew, why would I want to eat all this rabbit food? That is because meat processing has a terrible environmental impact.
  • You can run for a cause. Most marathons and runs are organised for charity and act as fundraisers. When you enter such events, you are donating towards a charitable cause while staying healthy. In our eyes, that’s a perfect exchange. You can Google causes you are passionate about, and you just might find a marathon opportunity in your area. Or better still, organize your own!

So, now that we’ve detailed ways that you can utilise to help save the planet, you can now implement these in your daily routines. While we can definitely help and guide your progress (*cough* FeetApart app *cough*), it’s up to you whether you want to be Batman or the Joker!


Is fitness just a beauty filter for you?

As you scroll through the endless stream of pictures on Instagram every morning (who cares if you’re late for work?), every third one you come across is either a fit, Bradley Cooper look-alike or an influencer wearing clothes that you could only wish would look good on you. Tomorrow, pakka, is what you say to yourself. Tomorrow is the day you’ll start dieting, going to the gym e.t.c. Your cousin’s wedding is coming up in a month and you have to lose weight to fit into your sherwani/sari blouse. And then suddenly you remember how your mom’s friend had called you ‘healthy’ the other day and your resolve just gets stronger. You’ll show all those people, they’ll regret saying stuff when you have a transformation just like Hrithik Roshan from K3G. 

 But let us stop you right there. We’re (almost) sure you’ll do all that, but how long will it last? You’ll go to gym for maybe a week or two before burning out, and then go on a crash diet that will just make you crave pizza even more. And you can always buy another overpriced sherwani right? If you see what the problem is, here’s a gold star for you. If you haven’t figured it out yet, don’t worry, it’s really simple. The reason you want to get fit itself is  wrong.  You want to lose weight because you think it’ll make you more agreeable in the eyes of other people. You want to get skinnier because social media, movies and nosy aunties have set certain expectations that you feel you must comply with.

So, before you make any promises to yourself (and your gym trainer), we want you to ask yourself a very important question: why do you want to get fit? Make sure it’s not because for the benefit of other people, but for your own. Workout to have a healthy body and mind, not because you want to hop on to the latest Instagram trend. Workout because you want to see a long-term change in yourself, not because you want to fit into your clothes. And most importantly, Bradley Cooper is one of a kind, so maybe just try to be yourself. 


What You and Your Lunch Have in Common

Never thought you’d have something in common with a meal? Think again. While you look for similarities between yourself, your parents and your siblings, little did you know that the (second) most important meal of the day also bears a striking resemblance to you. But you may think: I’m not as bland as daal rice right? Well, let’s see. 

They say you are what you eat. If you have a sweet tooth, and regularly have rasgullas and laddoos on your plate, you’re probably a happy-go-lucky, ball-of-fun type of a person (and maybe a bit ball…shaped as well?). If you have a burning, spicy sabzi or raw chillies on your plate, are you okay? Burning up your taste buds isn’t going to sweat the fat out of your body. Maybe you’re one of the healthy types, and have all kinds of veggies on your plate. In that case, good for you. You seem like you really care for yourself, but we know you’ve been having your cheat days. 

Oh, or maybe you don’t really care that much about your lunch, and just eat whatever is in your fridge. In that case, how is bachelor life treating you? Just like the day-old pizza in your fridge, maybe you also need to reheat your life up a bit. If your lunch is on the go, McDonalds DriveThru types, you seem to be fast, just like your food. Maybe have a vegetable once in a while? Take a break from your 80-hour work week and chill for a bit.  
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t have lunch at all? What does that say about you? It means that you really need to do something about it. If you keep this up, you’ll probably say goodbye to your sanity (and your personality, since we’ve well established that what you eat directly correlates with your character). But in all seriousness, we hope we’ve communicated to you how important your diet is with respect to your health, mental and physical. While your characteristics may not be linked to what’s on your plate, it surely affects your lifestyle.


Sexism and Squats: How Fitness Propagates Misogyny

The gender pay gap, harassment, and double standards. What do these have in common? Each of these represent areas where women are significantly disadvantaged. You would think that these issues are independent of daily life; they happen in isolation. I mean, sexism in the workplace sounds normal (should it?), but sexism and fitness? That seems like a reach. But we’re here to tell you, unfortunately, you’re very wrong. 

If you’re male, the next time you go to the gym (whenever they open up, that is), we want you to carry out a simple test. Glance at the men, and then the women. Count how many of each there are. Then count how many of them look actually comfortable, i.e. not looking around, checking if anyone is looking at them inappropriately or not adjusting their clothes constantly to make sure they’re not showing too much skin. By then you’ve probably figured out the point we’re trying to make. 

While you would think twice about correcting another man’s form, you wouldn’t hesitate to roll your eyes at the woman trying to lift heavy weights (because it’s a man thing). Women showing physical strength and determination is something that makes society uncomfortable, but does that mean we propagate the stereotype that women are physically weak? And don’t even get us started on harassment. Shouldn’t the gym be a safe haven, an escape from the daily humdrum for everyone? Equally? Why deprive women of the mental endorphin boost you get when you deadlift 80 kilos?

If you’re thinking: “Yeah, but this doesn’t apply to me, I’m always respectful to women. I have a mom and sister you know.”, think again. Just because you don’t actively catcall/harass women at the gym, doesn’t mean you haven’t seen other men do it. Did you do anything about it then? If your answer is no, do better. If yes, then we hope you’re on the right track to making the gym a more healthy, equitable space for men AND women.


Can We Guess Your Favourite Body Part?

We all have one, we just don’t know which one it is. Trust us. Let’s find out yours!

Answer this short quiz (truthfully) and then tell us we’re not psychic. 

  1. Do you stare into the mirror at hours on end?
    1. Yes
    2. Maybe, don’t judge.
    3. Nope
  1. Did you look at SRK’s 10-pack abs in Happy New Year and wish that was you?
    1. Obviously
    2. Not really, I’m more of a Bhai fan
    3. Why the hell would I watch that movie?
  1. Are you happy with your tummy tires and your double chin?
    1. …no
    2. Wait, how did you know I had them?
    3. Eh, I don’t really care
  1. Does your gym trainer give you a disappointed look after every set of squats?
    1. I didn’t come here to be roasted
    2. What gym trainer? What squats?
    3. I’m basically a trainer myself
  1. Kya aapke toothpaste mein namak hai?
    1. It’s supposed to have namak?
    2. This joke is really old, btw.
    3. Of course it does, I’m not a caveman

Now, for the moment of truth. Drum roll, please:

If you answered mostly As: Um, we’re not sure you have a favourite body part. Gotta like yourself before you love yourself, no?

If you answered mostly Bs: Salman over Shah Rukh? Really?

If you answered mostly Cs: We’re jealous as f***. How does it feel to have your life together?

Okay, maybe we lied. We can’t really tell what your favourite body part is. But that doesn’t matter. Because all of it should be your favourite, regardless of who you are ad whether your toothpaste has namak. And we, at FeetApart, sure can help you with that.