'Everyday is sort of different'

Fitness talk

'Everyday is sort of different'

At 51, Milind Soman exudes a confidence and charm that’s rare to find in someone his age. The fitness symbol, who’s associated with the ‘Pinkathon’, barefoot running and the ‘Ironman’ title, says that there are no quickfixes or shortcuts to fitness. Rather, it’s constant self-awareness and an active lifestyle that do the trick.

In the city to flag off the ‘Cult10k’ run at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Milind Sonam poke to Anushree Agarwal on different aspects of fitness — discipline, diet, exercise and why it all matters.

A day in the life of Milind Soman...

Everyday is sort of different which is how I like it. Am associated with companies in various fields — sports, fitness and well-being, event management, television production and talent management — so there’s always something going on. I try to be active all the time because that’s the way I’ve been since I was a child.

Does discipline come to you naturally?

I think so but I also think it comes from the fact that I was involved in sports from a very young age. I started swimming competitively at the age of nine. I swam at the national level till I was 23 and represented India in swimming. That background has really helped me to naturally focus on the things that I think are priority for me.

The benefits of barefoot running...

You get a sensation from the ground directly and this is sent to the entire body on how each part has to respond. Even when it comes to just walking, bending or standing, the sensation from the ground helps the body to maximise the efficiency of the activity. The balances are most efficient. Your body responds to sensations and situations much faster than your conscious mind.

It’s said that the importance of diet and exercise is in the ratio of 70:30. What’s your take on that?

To me, exercise is not important if you are active. An active lifestyle means that you sit less. We have incorporated exercise into our lives today because we are beginning to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Decades ago, diet was more important. But today, exercise is more important, because when you’re not active, your body functions are compromised. The body loses its ability to respond to the environment. You have to exercise the body for it to maintain efficiency. We need to focus on a more active lifestyle and then the diet automatica lly falls into place. As a country, we have embarked on the path to fitness.

What do you want to say to those who go on crash diets or follow fad diets?

I would not look for a quickfix or a shortcut. The only thing that works is self-awareness, in every aspect of life. Once you have that, questions like what to eat or what not to eat don’t arise, it’s an automatic response.

You have 15 minutes to cook a healthy meal...

I love salads and I would prepare one using raw ingredients and things I needn’t cook.

The best compliment you’ve received...

Earlier, people complimented me for my looks, when I became a model. Now on fitness, on the fact that whatever I do is inspiring other people which is even better. I am happy that I am making a difference which reaffirms that I am on the right path.

A word of advice for those looking to get fit...

Wake up at 5 am. That’s all you got to do and your life will change. Basic human nature will not allow you to be idle. You will engage in some activity and by 7 pm, you’ll begin to feel sleepy. Dinner by 8 and if you sleep by 10, you’ve definitely brought in the change. That should top your list. Also, exercise is good if you do it regularly, more so if done twice or even thrice a day.

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