40-45 is the age when you are at the peak of your career and in your life. Your kids have grown up, your home loan is about to end (hopefully) and if you have played your cards right, you probably have enough savings to enjoy a leisurely life. But when you hold the post of Vice President in one of the largest Fortune 500 companies, the hectic schedule is sure to take a toll on your health. While many would succumb to the pressure and demands of their careers, there are a few who fight back to become an inspiration to all of us! One such inspiration is Nikhil Vij who not only conquered his stress demons but set standards for everyone in his industry. Read on to know how Nikhil did what he did, in a candid interview with Gympik!
Gympik: Tell us a bit about yourself?
Nikhil: My name is Nikhil Vij and I currently hold the position of Vice President at Oracle India Private Limited. I am an engineer with over 14 years experience in the IT industry. I also hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IMDR Pune and Executive MBA in General Management Program from IIM, Bangalore. Apart from being a keen admirer of Indian philosophy and culture, I also love travelling and working out.
Gympik: Tell us something about your fitness journey- when did you start and how it became an important part of you?
Nikhil: People often associate having a white-collar job at an MNC with a cushy lifestyle. But from my own 14 years of experience, I can say that this boon of a cushy lifestyle is also the bane of our times. From a very sketchy work-life balance to spending long hours of sitting at your desk with minimal exercise, the corporate lifestyle takes a major toll on you.
When I moved to Bangalore more than 14 years ago, I loved the city, the people, and the food. However, thanks to my “quiescent” lifestyle, there was no scope of physical exertion. In fact, I barely sweat! Consequently, I used to fall sick very often.
In the beginning, I had put it down to the weather but I soon realised there was more to my sickness. With the advice of my friends and family, I started going for a brisk walk in the morning. It was only after 8 months of walking that I finally began to perspire properly and immediately felt better in terms of my health. This was when I realised the importance of adding an element of fitness in the work-life equation. This helped me made up my mind and I joined Talwalkars Gym soon before finally switching to Kaizen Fitness. Today, even though my work responsibilities have increased, I make sure that I am taking some time out to work out in the gym every evening.
Gympik: What, according to you, is the best way to keep yourself motivated towards fitness?
Nikhil: I think one of the biggest challenges faced by working professionals today, especially in the IT sector, is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. These days, we are so engrossed in meeting deadlines, client meetings, and a plethora of other tasks simultaneously that many of us end up working more than 50 hours per week.
In fact, there have been days when I almost skipped the gym, risking my health over the job! But at times like these, I motivate myself by recalling how working out has, in fact, helped me increase my productivity in all aspects. This desire to be productive often becomes the motivating factor for me. For others too I will say the same thing – you may be really tempted to skip the gym every once in a while but on those days, remember why you started in the first place. You will never feel demotivated.
One more thing that has really helped me in my fitness journey is group workout! Having a workout partner or working out in a group really really helps. On days when you are not motivated, they push you. Make this a priority in your life and you will never regret.
Gympik: Any fitness mantra you would like to share with our readers?
Nikhil: Eat well, have fun, and don’t forget the most important thing that allows you to do all these, i.e. your fitness routine. Stay fit, pick anything you like, start off light and slow and gradually find your niche. But don’t quit once you start because you will realise that this is the biggest investment you could have ever made to yourself!
In today’s world, work has become synonymous with pressure. Walk into any IT company and you will see how most people succumb to this pressure. For them and for us, the story of people like Nikhil Vij is indeed an inspiration. We wish that the office going readers amongst us will take inspiration from Nikhil and embrace fitness as a part of their lifestyle for a healthier and happier India! If you too have a story to tell about your fitness journey, don’t hesitate to drop a message or a mail, (you can comment below too) and we’ll feature you in our next post. Till then, don’t forget to share and send your love by commenting below. Stay fit, stay happy!