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Fit 'n' fab thirties

Bollywood beauty Sonali Bendre believes that keeping fit helps her be a better mother.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 02, 2010 00:51 IST

After a successful Bollywood career, Sonali Bendre gave it all up to tie the knot with filmmaker Goldie Behl. While playing mother to her son Ranveer, who turns five in a couple of months, keeps her busy for the greater part of the day, Sonali has not given up on working altogether. She has been judging reality shows and can be seen in commercials on the small screen. She shares her fitness mantras with Prevention magazine in their latest issue.

You’re looking fitter than you have in a long time. What’s your secret?
I’ve realised that as you age, there’s no alternative to keeping fit. And by fit, I don’t mean thin. I have always had a lean frame, but I’ve never actually been fit. And unlike in your 20s, when you can afford to be a little lazy if your body permits, in your 30s that is sadly not the case. You need to take greater care of yourself. For me, fitness is about being taut and having superb energy levels, which I so require to keep pace with my son.

What is that one thing in your 30s that motivated you to finally embark upon a fitness regime?
While shedding the post-baby fat was one factor, I’ve always had a bad knee and back. In fact, for a major part of my film career, I had to dance on one foot. And even as my mother asked me to pay heed to it, I never quite had the time. However, of late, things got worse and I decided to do something before it got out of hand. My son is my priority now, and I wanted to keep running around with him. And I realised I couldn’t afford to ignore myself any longer.

What is your fitness regimen like?
I don’t believe in straining myself and try and work out 3-4 times a week. That includes 3 hours of cardio and an hour-and-a-half of resistance training. Besides, I’m a very hands-on mother and running around Ranveer gives me a lot of exercise throughout the day.

When did you realise that your efforts were beginning to show?
When I was back to wearing my high heels without feeling any kind of pain. Actually, once you take up fitness seriously, there’s a rhythm that comes into your life, enabling you to do things more easily. My immunity levels are up, and my allergies have gone down. I’ve never felt stronger!

Do you keep a close watch on your diet?
Once you hit the 30s, you’ve to watch what you eat, as your metabolism levels are no longer the same. It’s about finding healthier alternatives to the foods you love and eating everything in moderation.

What gives that glow to your skin?
I’ve an extremely sensitive skin... As a result, I’ve to take care of it with what I eat. For instance, to keep the oils flowing to my skin, I make sure I have a handful of walnuts every day. Of late, I have started taking multi-vitamin tablets, and the effects are fabulous. Multi-vitamins, I think, are a must for every 30-plus woman looking at leading a fitter, more beautiful and healthy life.