Physical activity and fitness featured prominently in the list of India’s most influential persons on health, unveiled earlier this week by GOQii.
The US-based fitness technology brand surveyed its users in India to devise the list. The selection highlighted many public personalities for promoting the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoying the top rank.
“Our honourable Prime Minister is not only keen on improving India but keen on improving the health and fitness in India as well,” the brand said in its rankings. In particular, they highlighted Modi’s role in promoting yoga internationally with his “instrumental” role in convincing the United Nations General Assembly to institute the International Day of Yoga, observed annually on June 21st.
GOQii said that the Prime Minister “often practises yoga to keep his muscles active” and noted his completion of the #HumFitTohIndiaFit challenge, which went viral last year to promote the benefits of physical activity. The Prime Minister shared a video of his morning exercise routine in completing the challenge – inspired by “the five elements of nature – water, fire, air, earth, and ether.”
Other influencers included Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar (ranked 2nd) and yoga guru Baba Ramdev (ranked 3rd). Unsurprisingly, sports personalities featured prominently. Cricketers Virat Kohli (who challenged Modi to #HumFitTohIndiaFit), Mithali Raj and Mahendra Singh Dhoni; badminton players Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu; footballer Sunil Chhetri and boxer Mary Kom, among others, were included.
Akshay Kumar, meanwhile, was not alone among Bollywood luminaries. Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, and Shilpa Shetty were among the other actors who made the list. The list also had places for nutritionist and holistic lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho; chef Sanjeev Kapoor; and decorated cardiovascular surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan.
One of the most inspiring entries was Divanyashu Ganatra, who lost his eyesight to glaucoma when he was nineteen years old. In the years following, he became a widely respected clinical psychologist and India’s first blind person to complete a paraglide solo.
The list serves as an opportunity to remind Indians of the value of fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle. With unhealthy habits and sedentary lifestyle factoring into rising rates of noncommunicable disease, the contribution of figures in the public sphere to encouraging Indians to lead lives that facilitate their wellbeing is of great importance.
Read the full list here.