Staying active keeps one happier, says cricketer Ajit Agarkar
Former cricket player Ajit Agarkar has represented India in over 200 international matches, and in the 1999 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cups. During his IPL career, he played for the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders. Since retiring from all forms of cricket in 2013, he has served as cricket analyst, and now also plays international corporate golf. Here’s a look at what else the 41-year-old does to keep fit.
When your career is sport, fitness takes precedence even over other aspects of your life. I have always followed a strict wellness routine that is a combination of weight-training exercises, cardio and yoga, along with a controlled diet and a disciplined lifestyle.
Running has always been my go-to exercise for the numerous health benefits it offers the body and mind. I love running outdoors or on the treadmill.
I do Pilates regularly, for well-toned muscles, good posture and core strength. This too is a mind-body workout and it helps reduce your chances of injury, which is important for a sportsman.
I now play three rounds of golf a week, and golf gets you to walk about 8 km during each round.
Thankfully, I have good eating habits with no sweet tooth. I believe that anything eaten in moderation will do no harm to one’s body. I never go overboard or over-eat.
I love fruits; they’re my favourite snack. Bananas and apples are instant energy. I have fruit with breakfast. I eat bananas, protein bars and protein shakes after a workout as well.
As a family we have early dinners because that lets the digestive system function optimally. I do enjoy my tea and sometimes have three cups a day. I’m now trying to cut my daily intake to one cup.
I don’t necessarily keep away from anything but I avoid rice and oily stuff. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cheat. I do enjoy binging on burgers and pizzas, but only once in a while.
I believe staying active keeps one happier. Playing for India taught me to handle stress. And golf has taught me patience. Spending three to four hours on the course helps sharpen the mind and ability to focus.
In my downtime I watch TV and Netflix, but my favourite leisure activity is quality screen-free time with the family.
(As told to Purnima Goswami Sharma)