Three times a week, Ravi Krishnan is at the Grand Hyatt in western Mumbai for a swim. Taking to the water is something he did from the time he grew up in Australia. “There, you start swimming at a very young age,” he says in that distinct down under accent, one hears very often from the cricketers.
He has been at it since then and today spends anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes in the pool. It starts with a gentle 10-15 minute warm up, which is a combination of freestyle and breaststroke. “I then go for the sprints to get the heart rate up and increase lung capacity. It is largely freestyle but I thrown in some butterfly as well,” says the 49-year-old, co-founder and CEO of Stepathlon, which, quite appropriately, is in the business of providing holistic health.
The preferred time of day is early morning but he is not really inflexible. “I am happy to swim during afternoons or evenings, if that is the only time I get,” he says. His is a job that involves a fair bit of travel and most hotels he checks into have a pool. “If I am lucky enough to be staying at a place close to a clean ocean, I never miss that opportunity,” he chirps.
There is a sound logic to why Krishnan has liked swimming. Apart from giving one the holistic workout, it puts lesser strain on the body compared to running. The pool, as it turns out, is also a great place to think. “For one, you don’t get phone calls. If I am faced with a challenging issue at work, by the end of my first lap, I have often started to work through a solution,” he explains in all seriousness. When he is not swimming, time is spent walking or at the gym. “As I get older, I am focusing more on mobility and stretching.”
To his mind, swimming is the best all-round workout. “It puts less strain on the body due to the buoyancy of the water. While there are the obvious physical benefits, it makes me feel very positive,” is what his view is. Care is taken to ensure that the right kind of food is consumed as well. “I usually have an apple, carrot and beetroot juice an hour before my swim,” he says. For the fitness enthusiast, this is more just being in the pool. “Swimming is the greatest stress reliever I know,” he sums up.