In 2019, he was moved when a mother cried helplessly for her drug-addicted son. The mother was waiting in a queue at the SSP office and wanted to ask for help to get her son off drugs.
“His son was on drugs and he also used to hurt his family by attacking them. Her tears moved me and I couldn’t sleep for 2 nights,” Bhat recalls.
Hailing from the Rajbagh region of Srinagar, he believed that in order to improve people’s lives, he must first do something for himself and what better than to be a fitness trainer. Today, people affectionately call it ‘Fitness wala dost’ or ‘Aariz Bhat’.
Currently working as a fitness trainer at Anytime Fitness Club Srinagar, he said, “People may not share anything with their trainer, but with a friend they share everything. I approach people as a friend and together we change the things that lead them to a better life.
Belonging to a middle class family and with limited resources, it was difficult for her to pursue a career in the field of fitness.
He, on the suggestion of his elders and cousins, moved to Jammu. “They told me here that you can’t learn the discipline and responsibility that a coach has to learn,” he said.
He joined the Anytime Fitness Gym, a franchise of extensive health and fitness clubs around the world, and for the first five days worked a 10-12 hour shift without rest. His dedication impressed the head coach and owner who hired him.
To get a fitness certification course, he went to Delhi where he learned more about fitness. Soon he took a job as a fitness trainer and worked there for more than two years.
During this time he met two child drug addicts – one from Srinagar and the other from Jammu and trained them.
“While I was training these kids, I had to deal with a lot of things. Sometimes they had mood swings and sometimes they behaved rudely, but today I’m proud that they’re all living the two a great life today. I think that’s my achievement in my coaching career,” he said.
In 2021 he came back to Srinagar and started training people including many government officials which put him in good touch with them.
Recently, a functional training workshop was held with Gold Gym Fitness Institute Mumbai with the help of J&K Police and SSP Srinagar Rakesh Balwal. The training workshop was offered free of charge to young people.
“My next plan is to get a free certification course for 50 fitness enthusiasts who want to pursue a career in the fitness field. With this course, they can fit into any fitness channel and earn a lot of money. money,” he said.
His future plans also include establishing a fitness academy in Kashmir where training can be offered to gym trainers.
He said with the initiatives he has taken, young people in Kashmir can make a career in the fitness industry without going out and paying a large sum to do the certification course.
“With this, more fitness enthusiasts will come forward and can change other people’s lives. People can also open their startup and motivate other people to stay fit,” he said.
As some people consider gyms and fitness centers solely associated with bodybuilding, he said gyms can help maintain better mental and reproductive health.
“Even doctors advise people to do gyms and exercises. Your cardiovascular system improves and your weight stays correct. It increases your strength,” he said.
He feels there is a need for professional trainers in gyms. He said that the field where one can have injuries and broken bones always requires a coach to be around the trainees. The exercises should be done systematically and according to the recommendations of the trainer.
“People often avoid going to the gym because they have to pay the trainers, but the trainer tells you how many exercises are needed. With the help of a fitness trainer, you will be motivated throughout the day and the injuries will also be avoided. When entering the gym, you should warm up first and follow all the techniques. Before doing any activity, warming up is a must,” he said.
Talking about career opportunities in fitness, he said there are many opportunities to be had outside Kashmir and people are earning a lot.
While emphasizing government sponsorship, he said, “If the government sponsors fitness centers in Kashmir, we can also have many opportunities. People can work as coaches and this will open doors for employment.
He added that the lifestyle of most people in Kashmir is lethargic which has given rise to a number of ailments. Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, PCOS and PCOS are some of the inactive lifestyle disorders that can only be controlled by staying fit.
“People in their 80s outside Kashmir maintain their physical activity and have good stamina. Compared to Kashmir, there is more fitness culture outside and the coaches are always on the alert,” he added.
Talking about how to stay fit during Ramzan, he said the best thing to do is to walk for 15-20 minutes after eating. “Half an hour before and after iftars can be a good time to exercise,” he added.
Coming from a middle-class family background, Bhat played a role as a junior artist in the movie Haider and believes fitness played a big part in shaping his life. He also started his event management company where he organizes events for special children, artists and works for drug rehabilitation.
“Right now, my father is not well, but I’m doing what I had to do. Any obstacle in your life should not stop you but make you stronger,” he concluded.