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Breaking out of Bollywood’s idea of fitness in 2013

Over the next year, Bollywood will continue to be the benchmark for what a good body looks like (for men and women). But to know what a good body feels like, you’ll have to do much more.

brunch Updated: Dec 29, 2012 17:43 IST
Mickey Mehta

First answer this question: Do you have six-pack abs and 16-inch biceps but still feel lethargic through the day? If you answer yes, let me gently break it to you that you are not fit. You may have muscles bigger than Akshay Kumar’s, but it doesn’t mean you are holistically well. It just means you’ve aped Akshay’s physique, but not his level of fitness. Many young people work out or starve themselves so that they can flaunt a waistline as tiny as Anushka Sharma’s or build muscles like John Abraham’s. They survive on one meal a day and take supplements so that they can sculpt their bodies like their favourite star. Over the next year, Bollywood will continue to be the benchmark for what a good body looks like (for men and women). But to know what a good body feels like, you’ll have to do much more.

Mickey Mehta: India’s leading holistic health guru has trained beauty pageant hopefuls, top industrialists, Bollywood stars and big names in fashion. His idea of fitness blends diet, exercise, yoga and Zen philosophies

Celebrities as fitness role models may not be the greatest idea. The current batch of actors like Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra have fabulous bodies. But they all look like they’ve been manufactured on assembly lines and I truly question their overall fitness. Are they really fit? Are they content, relaxed, self-secure, self aware and emotionally sound? These are also parameters of holistic wellbeing.

I understand that actors work 20 hours a day and anybody would need some kind of stimulant to survive the media glare 24x7, but taking to dope is not the answer. I know for a fact that actors like Akshay Kumar and Aamir Khan spend hours perfecting their bodies through mind and body training. I’ve trained Akshay and I know that he is one of the most disciplined people I have ever met. His dedication towards overall fitness is what the youth must try and emulate.

FitnessWhat you’ll see on screen over the next year is not all there is to fitness. The impetus should move from the physical self to the entire being. Everyone should aim for soulful wellness, not just physical fitness. They should be at peace with themselves and their self image should be independent of what others think. This is only possible if one loves themselves first because only that will make you disciplined enough to keep at it. You should not worry about fitting into a pair of jeans, but work hard towards developing your overall personality – inwards and outwards.

One celeb trend that is worth following is to focus on the organic and natural. Eat fresh foods like herbs, roots, fruits, vegetables, cow’s milk and ghee, and ditch preserved, packaged versions of the same. Focus on breathing right – inhaling fresh air and exhaling all the negativity out. Even your workout should be organic. Practise yoga and meditation. It will help you get rid of modern-day anxieties. You will feel lighter and better. Don’t just pump weights, fill your body with what is completely natural. YogaAnd regardless of what you see the heroes doing on screen and on the red carpet, stop smoking and minimise your alcohol consumption. I see so many film stars drinking Red Bull, aerated drinks and puffing on cigarettes. It’s the very opposite of all the fitness advice they try to give their fans. And stop counting calories; count the wellness within and you will be much happier. Sizes are getting smaller by the day. People are so calorie conscious that they are afraid of eating an extra morsel of anything. That’s making them unhappy. I don’t see the radiance of youth anymore. Eat well, eat right and your body will reward you. And lastly, exercise. Do it every day. Make it a habit, a need that must be fulfilled. Get out of the gym and have fun with your body. Jump, run, stretch, skip, swim, crawl, hang, roll. Do everything you did as a kid and you will see positive effects in weeks. Let 2013 be the year of overall health, not just the hollow Bollywood version of fitness.

Rules of eating in 2013

Never eat by the clock: Your food intake should not be dependent on your office’s lunch hour. Instead eat when you’re hungry.

FruitsPortion control: Eat smaller meals but don’t define them by a number. If someone tells you that you have to eat eight small meals, it’s wrong. Eat smaller meals as many times as you’re hungry.

Avoid packaged foods: You already know this – packaged food is high in salt content and preservatives, which are harmful for your body.

From HT Brunch, December 30

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