Anas Paracha is an athlete, who now trains athletes. But he is not your run-of-the-mill trainer. A well-qualified coach, Anas believes in helping his trainees, which include elite athletes, gain peak mental and physical fitness through a holistic approach.

According to Anas, holistic fitness is a direct approach to attaining mental, spiritual and physical fitness. It incorporates nutrition and mindfulness to achieve an overall sense of wellbeing.

His mantra to attaining your fitness goals is: “You have to be selfish in order to be selfless”

His own fitness journey began as a golfer who wanted to improve his game, which led to some athletic drills as per the coaches’ recommendation. However, that “transitioned into a passion to become fitter and stronger”.

While pursuing his passion, Anas ended up becoming an elite Level-3 trainer with multiple certifications in health and fitness, that varied from personal training to online and group training. Later on his interest grew towards nutritional science, followed by a specialisation in strength and conditioning.

In an interview with ‘The News on Sunday’, Anas spoke on a variety of issues pertaining to fitness. Following are the excerpts.

TNS: Tell us about yourself?

AP: I’m first and foremost an athlete who likes to train others interested in attaining their goals. I completed my bachelors from Lahore School of Economics and then started specialising in health and fitness, did multiple certifications from the world’s third highest ranked sports association known as International Sports and Science Association (ISSA).

‘We have to give fitness training the importance it deserves’

TNS: What’s your philosophy when it comes to fitness?

AP: There are a lot of misconceptions regarding fitness in our society. Being fit doesn’t necessarily mean to pick up heavy weights in the gym or have a very bulky body. In reality being fit means to be able to live a happy and long life which means eating the right foods and doing the right type of training that fits the individual’s lifestyle.

TNS: How can you engage youngsters, who are hooked on to gadgets, towards fitness and exercise?

AP: The workouts and training regimen for youngsters need to be creative and fun in which they learn new stuff which keeps them hooked and makes them look forward to their next training session.

TNS: How different is it to train elite athletes?

AP: Training elite athletes is a completely different story, as each training regimen varies from one athlete to another, incorporating sports specific exercises which improve the athlete’s performance in their respective sport.

TNS: How can you have a holistic approach towards health and fitness?

AP: A holistic approach towards training means to not just keep the diet and exercise in check but also the complete lifestyle of that certain individual which includes sleeping patterns, atmosphere/environment of the certain individual, his/her medical history etc.

TNS: Why is cross fitness important?

‘We have to give fitness training the importance it deserves’

AP: CrossFit is a specific type of sport which comes under fitness, the great thing about CrossFit is that it covers both aspects of strength and conditioning which are the most important pillars in any form of fitness.

TNS: Do you think people, in general, take physical fitness seriously in our country?

AP: In the past the majority didn’t take it seriously. But things are changing now. More and more people, of all ages, are taking an interest in getting fitter. I meet athletes who want to follow a holistic approach towards their mental and physical fitness. So I must say that there is now better awareness. But we need to continue moving forward and embrace changing trends in the world of fitness. We have to give physical training the importance it deserves.

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