What does fitness mean to you?
It’s the most important thing to me. There was a time when I was facing a lot of injuries. I was sleeping on the wrong mattress and my back went for a toss. I was about to undergo surgery. It just pulled me down – physically and mentally. I started looking bad and didn’t like the way I looked.
Were you always fit as a child or is it because of the pressure of looking good on screen?
As a kid, I was very active. My father has encouraged me to play cricket, swim and to actively participate in other activities. He took me to martial arts class when I was a kid. So, I started at a very young age. When I was a kid, I used to play football and run with my friends. It just became my habit. Because I was into so many activities when I was a kid, I don’t really feel the fatigue. It is very important to be active as a kid. It becomes your lifestyle then.
Today, kids spend time on phones than on the playground. What is your take on that?
Lifestyle has changed a lot over the last few years, thanks to the booming technology. I think it has to be a very conscious effort from the side of the parents to motivate their kids. If they see their peers on phone, they will also get attracted to it. Parents need to push their kids to some sort of activities which they enjoy. When the kids start enjoying the activity, it automatically becomes a part of their lifestyle. For example, if a kid likes to dance and joins a group, he/she starts doing it a lot more. They make friends who like the same thing and inspire each other.
People get disappointed when they can’t see the results. Your advice.
It’s simple. Rome was not built in a day. Nothing that you start will show immediate results. It has to be over a due course of time. If it is showing you immediate results, just think about it. This has to be a gradual process. You cannot run a marathon in just one day. You have to follow the proper technique. After years of practice, Milind Somancompleted the Ironman Triathlon. It didn’t happen overnight. Salman Khan sir has been building his body over the years. Tiger (Shroff) has dedicated his life to a healthy lifestyle and hence he performs all these incredible stunts. I guarantee you if you do it the right way, you will get results.
What’s your daily meal like?
Ghar Ka khaana (home cooked food) is the best. I have ghar ka khana. The only additional stuff is my natural proteins. Food plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s what you eat that gives you the result. When you are aiming to make a certain physique, it’s 70 per cent what you eat and 30 per cent is your work out. People say if you eat fat you will gain weight. Good fats are necessary and you need to have them every day. Fats give you energy. It’s a myth that people don’t understand.
What about your little cravings?
Fortunately, I don’t crave things a lot. I get my Indian food in the day and I am sorted with that. Though I am a Bengali, I don’t crave for sweets at all. I think cravings happen when you are hungry. I don’t let myself be hungry at all.
What are the basic fitness regimes that you swear by?
First thing, you need to do in the morning is stretching. When you wake up, your body becomes stiff. I have multiple injuries in my neck. So, I make sure that I stretch my neck before I do anything. Stretching frees your legs and joints. It makes you feel agile. I try and go for a jog or walk. It gets your heart beat high and keeps you fit. I also practice martial arts. It makes you mentally and physically strong. Swimming is important and helps in lots of ways. Even if I can’t do weights, I try and do these every day.