Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 76, Tuesday, July 14, 2009



special feature

Look good, feel great!

Gone are the days when “I'm too busy for a gym” was an excuse that worked. With the passing time, more and more people are becoming image conscious and aware of how appearance reflects on their image.

Recently the number of health conscious Dhakaites has seen a rapid growth and thus, many shops selling exercise equipment have sprung up across the city. Whether it's a treadmill you want, a recumbent stationery bike, maybe a stepper, or a barbell set these shops cater to all your exercising needs.

Traditionally, buying such machinery meant a trip downtown to the Stadium Market, located next to Baitul Mukarram mosque at Paltan, which sells practically any machinery imaginable under the sun. All you need is a lot of time on your hands and a good eye for spotting what you want. Good bargaining skills are also a plus point in this tiny city of sporting accessories where a bit of negotiation can get you a very good deal indeed.

There are also stores around Elephant Road hiding in the many alcoves of the different shopping complexes around the street disguised as bicycle shops. Here you are bound to get, if nothing else, a good treadmill at reasonable prices. For those who prefer a more hassle free shopping experience as opposed to a shopping spree at the Stadium Market, or a bigger variety to choose from compared to the shops in Elephant Road, head to the sporting good franchises strewn across the city from Gulshan to Dhanmondi.

Granted the prices are a little higher than what you might have to pay at the Stadium Market (and bargaining skills are of no use here) but the sheer variety alone is an advantage as these shops have almost anything you might want to decorate your home gym with, including attractive gear as well as the latest in gym gadgetry.

One of the biggest and most popular sporting goods shops is Body & Sport located both at Banani and Panthapath. The store offers a wide variety of gym equipment ranging from manual to electronic treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers, body massagers, etc.

One of their most popular items is a “10 Station Gym” workout set which comes complete with barbells, dumbbells, an abdominal workout station, weight lifting bench, etc - all in one package - within a price of taka one lakh and ninety five thousand; a bargain if you ask, as buying it all individually will not only cost more but end up taking more space than necessary.

The bikes range from Tk 18000, all the way up to Tk 52000 depending on what kind you are buying. There are even bikes designed to tone up and build muscles in specific areas of the leg, or reduce fat in certain areas, all catering to individual needs.

Treadmills start at Tk 8000 (manual) going all the way up to 50,000 and above (electronic). The individual barbell and dumbbell sets are priced at Tk160 per kilogram. Apart from Body & Sports, there are many other similar shops like Sports World and Shop 21 located in and around the Dhanmondi area. The price range is pretty much the same in all these specialty sports shops.

Whether you are looking for a quiet workout on an exercise bike to cut calories while you watch some television or a heavier workout with some weight-lifting and rigorous running on a treadmill or some abdomen crunches on an ab-king pro, there's a shop waiting for you with your perfect weight loss solution.

Working out at home has become as easy as a trip to the nearby sporting goods store. So, hop on that bike or treadmill, burn a few calories and start looking great and feeling healthier all without having to take a single trip to the gym. Looking great and feeling good has never been so easy.

By Farah Tarannum


Delusions of grandeur
Can we afford the luxury of Ashraful?

Those who follow the game and read what is written about Bangladesh cricket will know that one idea crops up every now and again; how Mohammed Ashraful's fate has mirrored the fate of Bangladeshi cricket. Both are exceptionally talented but ultimately disappointing. This is not about singling out Ashraful as a scapegoat for Bangladeshi failures, but it cannot be denied that there is some truth to the experts' assertions.

Every player fails. As long as the player in question learns from his mistakes and maintains a degree of consistency the supporters forgive him. Mohammed Ashraful burst onto the scene with a debut century against the Sri Lankans. No doubt it is a source of national pride, but many may be forgiven for wondering if that was a curse in disguise.

In an interview with a Bangladeshi daily recently, he defends his inconsistency with the bat by citing that sublime century he scored eight years earlier. Since then, he has averaged twenty-three with the bat. To put that into perspective, Brett Lee, Australia's fast bowler and not a proper batsman by any stretch, averages almost twenty-one.

There is no doubt about his talent, but the fact that he seems to feel no remorse at his continued failures, hints at a very worrying trend in our cricket. Although he will never admit it, his tenure as Bangladesh captain probably did more harm than good. As the senior-most player and captain, he should have led an example by playing responsible innings. However, he repeatedly got out to irresponsible shots, thereby forfeiting his right to condemn his team-mates, when they did the same.

The most worrying thing is that by accepting Ashraful's failures and considering him as the best batsman in our country, we are accepting mediocrity. We have done this to such an extent that Ashraful himself feels that he has done nothing wrong; he even said that Bangladesh had lost close tests because he did not score runs. Imagine that; citing what he didn't do as an excuse for the team's failure. Quite apt, because he seems to be living in a dream world where he is a God's gift to cricket. Statistically, he isn't even a proper batsman.

Again, this is not to say that dropping him will solve all our problems. Nonetheless, something has to be done to change his attitude, and force him to rise above mediocrity. For better or for worse, Bangladeshis seem to look up to him to provide runs, and he needs to realise that his deeds of 2001 will not sustain him or the team through the present wave of mediocrity.



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