The world of fitness is ever-changing. You see different body types, cultures, and lifestyles taking over the world that once seemed attainable to a certain group of people. Fitness once upon a time seemed like a word achievable for those within a certain tax bracket or affluent lifestyle. But, things are changing and we see women of color from different backgrounds stepping in to share their journey. Which makes it more crucial to champion women of color in these spaces. Fitness advocacy isn’t for a standard body-type or to achieve a societal weight goal. It is to ease your mind to obtain a healthier way of living and being conscious of the choices you are making.
There are women who are setting the foundation for this and creating spaces for woc to engage in these methods. Women such as, Punita Mangat, are making it their career goals to change the perceptions of fitness for those who think they are not apart of this world. We had the pleasure to interview Punita on her journey to coaching in the fitness world and how she aims to bring mental wellness into her career.
When looking through your feed, you share your fitness journey with us. What advice can you give to those who are self-conscious about their experiences?
Punita: Getting into fitness can be uncomfortable in the beginning and can feel foreign. If you have had a bad experience then that can set you back more. I know from my experience with fitness that one bad experience is not enough to give up on it completely. There are so many times you will have a good experience too and the benefits will very soon erase that one bad experience from your memory very fast
You discuss the importance of your community and how you can truly feel like yourself. How important it is to find your community and our support squad?
Punita: Finding your community is important so you can continue to feel supported. But one thing with having a community is that it takes time to find it and they have to be your people who will empower and encourage you.
Now, we live in a world where everyone is giving advice but very few are walking the walk. How do you take time to balance yourself when you feel chaos brewing in your life?
Punita: Creating a balanced life is very important. In order to avoid burnout, checking in with your physical and mental state regularly is key.
Now, could you further explain why you choose to combine mental health & fitness in your life work?
Punita: Mental fitness is something I am very big on. I feel fitness has more mental benefits than we talk about. Social media makes it hard to show mental strengths and benefits and it’s easy to get lost in the comparison world of physical changes fitness brings sometimes. But at the end of the day, it’s your mindset that will help you more with attaining your goals.
You are a Brown Girl Mag affiliate, how important is your culture to you & what are some traditions you will pass down to your children?
Punita: I am a south Asian community health advocate but when it comes to traditions, I have broken a ton of them as I don’t agree with them. What I want to pass on to my daughter is that she can be anything she puts her mind to and I will support her along her journey which is something many South Asians don’t receive from their parents. Being yourself and living a life of freedom is everyone’s right and that is what I will try to instill in my daughter.
We would love to thank Punita for her amazing insight and to follow her journey, you can find her on Instagram.