‘Keep Fit. Be Happy’

Shilpa SHETTY-KUNDRA on beauty, fitness, health and wellness. 

Your view on beauty? 

Beauty, for me, is a synonym for dignity. This is because dignity surpasses the fundamental definition of beauty. It is that one thing that always adds not just to your beauty quotient, but also personality. It will never ever go out of style. It corresponds seamlessly to health, which only means that beauty is secondary. 

Your ‘take’ on fitness? 

You’d think that my washboard abs are a result of constant care and exercise — I’d say, possibly, yes. I prefer a combination of yoga and gym workouts. I practice yoga every day — the ‘open secret’ of my super-slim figure. My suggestion, not advice is: when you don’t feel comfortable working out at a gym, change the venue, or you’ll never go. Or, do what I do and train at home. Stretch before and after a workout to prevent muscle strain. Cardiovascular exercise keeps you fit, trim and healthy; my workouts involve light runs on the treadmill. I also lift light dumb-bells to tone my arms without bulking up. I use heavier weights on my legs for definition. I exercise at least 3-4 times a week. I meditate regularly and practice yoga every day. I love doing squats. I’ve always felt my legs are skinny, so I concentrate more on my lower body.

Your view of health and wellness? 

Contrary to popular belief, I do not ‘diet.’ I’ve never done anything silly like the cabbage soup diet. Instead, I just eat good, natural foods in sensible portions. I drink around ten glasses of warm water during the day to cleanse my system, keep my skin clear and feel full. I never ‘snack-eat’ between meals. It just increases your calorie intake. Remember, tea is always better than sugary, fizzy drinks. I don’t eat after 8:00pm. I also always eat at least three hours before I go to bed, so my body has the chance to work off the calories. My biggest secret? I only drink warm water. It helps clear toxins from the body, while increasing my metabolic rate, which, in turn, helps in burning fat. I did not like drinking water, but once I started drinking warm water, I realised that I needed to drink more to quench my thirst. Today, I carry my bottle of warm water whenever I step out of the house. And, I do believe that this is one of the key factors that helps me to maintaining my weight as well as giving me my clear skin and healthy body.

Your ‘take’ on work-life balance?

When I am on the sets I forget that I have a home and family. I make sure that wherever I am, be it my home, or sets, I do justice to it. I feel it is important to love the moment and enjoy. Yes, ‘mom-guilt’ is never far off, because I want my children to see that their mother goes to work and return. When I am at home, I am totally theirs. When they grow up, they should have value for work, money and their parents working so hard. Otherwise, moms, who are at home, are never valued; it is such a thankless job. I feel my kids will value me in the long run. I believe that no woman should live with that unfair, skewed ‘guilt.’

Your mantra to beat stress? 

The best way to beating stress, in my view, is to doing the boat pose, or naukasana. It really ‘rows you out’ of most stress-centric issues that you’d be going through. The most important qualities that you ought to have are focus, willpower, and resolute consistency. This gives you the advantage over all the temptations that could hold you back. Aim, define and organise your goals and work diligently towards them. But, remember one thing: never ever risk your physical, or mental, health at the cost of your success. Also, when you feel you are being pushed beyond your limits, listen to your body signals, take a break, be happy, and enjoy the present-moment and its reality.

SHILPA SHETTY-KUNDRA, the svelte and charming actress, model and fitness diva, who made her Bollywood movie debut in Baazigar [1993], has appeared in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. Her performances in Dhadkan [2000] and Rishtey [2002] received loads of éclat from critics, just as much as her poignant portrayal of an AIDS patient in Phir Milenge [2004], among others, won her several accolades. She lives in Mumbai, India. This piece has been collated and curated from material available on the ‘Net [Shilpa Shetty-Kundra. Photo, CourtesyWallpapercave].

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