HT Brunch Cover Story Summer Fitness Special: The fabulously fit Katrina Kaif
If you think the actor is in top form these days, it’s because she’s taking care of her body, mind and spiritUpdated: May 17, 2020 01:05 IST
“Since we are all practising #Social-Distancing @yasmin-karachiwala and I worked out at our homes and put the workouts together for you to do at yours. Stay home stay safe,” reads an Instagram post put out by actor Katrina Kaif with step-by-step warm-up and workout listed out.
Then, in another video post, on Day 21 of quarantine, the actor calls sweeping a “seriously good exercise”.
Rewind to 2016, when Katrina made an appearance alongside Siddharth Malhotra in Baar Baar Dekho two things had struck her fans: One, her dance moves in the song Kala Chashma. And two: Her body. Katrina had abs even Shah Rukh Khan would die for!
“Don’t let anyone dictate what your body shape or image should be”
Before that, Katrina was known for her drop-dead gorgeous looks, but she wasn’t the shapely, slim girl in the arms of Hrithik Roshan in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011). What changed?
How has the actor gone from strength to strength in terms of fitness, able to do all her stunts herself in Tiger Zinda Hai (2017), and showing great form in movies like Thugs of Hindostan (2018), Zero (2018) and Bharat (2019)?
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“Fitness has always been a huge part of my life and it’s not just working out at a gym,” says Katrina. “Rather, true fitness means being fit in body, mind and spirit.”
This means that while the actor has worked on her body, she has also worked on her acting skills, making sure she’s at peak form in every aspect of her life. Once known as an item girl with songs like Sheela Ki Jawaani and Chikni Chameli, then perceived as Akshay Kumar’s arm candy in movies like Singh Is Kinng (2008) and Tees Maar Khan (2010), her recent films have earned her respect for her acting chops, even if those movies didn’t exactly overwhelm the box office. Katrina’s role of an alcoholic superstar in Zero won her a Filmfare Award for best supporting actress, and her moves in Suraiyya (Thugs) reminded us once again how she burns up the screen. And her portrayal of Kumud in Bharat has won her much appreciation for her on-screen abilities.
“All this appreciation and validation means a lot to me,” says Katrina. “In the last three years, I have tried to change my approach towards work and right now my passion is to sync myself into good roles, immersing myself totally in my character so that I can deliver the best.”
“You can’t train well without proper sleep!”
Her change of approach to the characters she plays means she also changes her fitness regimes to suit those characters. “For instance, for the role of Kumud in Bharat, I did a lot of yoga, pilates and cardio,” says Katrina. “I stayed away from gyms as the character didn’t demand the look of a gym body. I stayed away from hard core functional training too.”
In comparison, for her role of an RAW agent in Tiger Zinda Hai (2017), she focused on hard core training and basic combat training.”
“Different kinds of training helps my body in different ways, but the most important thing is to know when to back off,” she says. “I have realised that your body tells you when to take a break or go slow and you need to listen to it. Earlier I would chase my target blindly. But now I listen to my body and focus on what it demands. I know when it needs to work hard, and needs more functional training, and I know when it needs more flexibility, and I know when it needs me to be gentle with it.”
For the last few years, Katrina has been training with Yasmin Karachiwala, and her biggest motivation is the former international supermodel Cindy Crawford.
With her body so under control that she’s also launched her own line of beauty products, Katrina raves about yoga, and its effect on the mind. “What it does to your body is least important compared with what it does to your mind,” she swears. “Sometimes you can’t notice the small changes that are happening within, but yoga makes you stop and listen, and that is a big help.”
Sleep is just as important to be truly fit, she adds. “You can’t train well without proper sleep,” she points out. “Similarly, meditating keeps you in a relaxed state of mind, while massages keep you de-stressed, especially if you are training. Taking regular breaks and going on holiday is also important.”
As for her nutrition, Katrina prefers to eat sensibly rather than follow fad diets. “For me, there’s no refined sugar, no dairy, no gluten, and no wheat,” she says. “But there are vegetables of all kinds and fish. After 7pm, I eat very lightly, and I eat nothing after 9pm.” Oily and fried foods are delicious, she concedes, but they are only eaten occasionally when she’s on holiday.
With wellness firmly on her mind, Katrina has turned into a bit of an evangelist, gently urging friends and fans to take charge of themselves in their own way. “Start somewhere, but don’t let anyone dictate what your body shape or image should be,” she says. “You are the best judge of what’s best for you. Be your own judge of your happiness and fitness – not just of the body, but of the mind and soul too.”
Note: All of Katrina Kaif’s pictures featured in this issue were taken before the Lockdown
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From HT Brunch, May 17, 2020
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