Karan Nijhawan is a clean cut, friendly young man with a quiet tone and a laid back, approachable vibe, as far from a garish infomercial lifestyle guru as one could be.

I’m not sure what I had imagined on my way to the interview, as I’ve never met a fitness entrepreneur before. Whatever it was, Karan impressed me greatly and laid bare some misconceptions I had about the business of helping people keep themselves in shape.

      Fit Opportunity is, in its essence, an online fitness program intended for busy professionals, parents, students, and the like who feel that their fitness level has slipped under the pressures of  their responsibilities, and who are finding it difficult to make time to take care of their own health and well being. The key concept is simplicity. Built around a core of fifteen-minute home workouts three times weekly, and an eminently rational, not at all deprivation- or gimmick-based nutrition plan, the idea is that this is a program you can stick too.

There are several issues I’ve had with the fitness industry, such as fad diets that do more harm than good, and the fat shaming that is often disguised as concern for peoples’ health. Karan is in agreement, understanding that a healthy diet, including all food groups and leaving a little flex room for the occasional food that may not be good for your body, but is good for your soul, is a balanced and sustainable approach.

No “low carb” or “cabbage soup” diets here. Fitness isn’t about looking a certain way, he tells me, “It’s about being able to pick up your kids, to bend down and pick berries. It’s about quality of life.”

Newfoundland’s health statistics tell a grim story of where we are, and predictions of where we will be in the years to come, without a serious change of course, are chilling. Add to this a crumbling health care system with little hope in sight that some magic bullet will fill our coffers with the needed funds to address it. It’s a smart move for us all to eat the proverbial apple a day and whatever else is within our power to keep the doctor at bay.

Karan’s commonsense solutions and positive attitude represent one healthy option for  making the change.

“If there was a pill for this, we’d all be taking it,” Karan muses. However, that’s just not the way it is, and good old fashioned healthy food and regular exercise are the only ways to win the battle for a healthier province.

In a funny way he combines the energy and drive of a young businessman with the sensibility of a bay nan.  Karan is trained in exercise science as well,  making Fit Opportunity  a safe, legitimate offering in an industry that has had more than its share of charlatans.