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Malaika Arora’s 10 fitness commandments

Malaika Arora's 10 fitness commandments

Anybody who knows me, knows that I don’t propagate fad diets. I’m clear about one thing —people must eat healthy meals, and exercise. You’ll never see me on a crash diet, or following trends merely because they are popular in the West. You’ll keep hearing developments that talk about the [ill-effects of] rice, or the benefits of having six meals. But, I believe in having my three wholesome meals a day — breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

02 Don’t over eat

 

I grew up in a South Indian household, and consumed rice generously. But, we believed in having food that’s unprocessed, and preferably grown as organically as possible. I still have ghee every day. But, you’ll never see me binge-eating. My mother always said, ‘Get up from the table while you’re still hungry’. I’m particular about my meals, and always eat on time. But, I don’t eat after 7.30 pm.

03 The watchful eater

 

I’m not someone who goes crazy over burgers and pizza. I’m more of a home-cooked food loving person. While growing up, I never ate junk food. So, it did not become part of my meal plan. I’ve not been crazy about sweets either, but I won’t deprive my body of it.

 

04 Holistic approach

 

I participate in a mix of fitness activities. I head to the gym, because I like weight-training and functional exercises. However, what really changed me is yoga. I started practising it to heal a hamstring injury. But, yoga helped me internally, externally and holistically. It changed my mood, thought process, mental and emotional [state]. Physically, it made my body longer, leaner and stronger. Weight training has a different impact on your muscles, and keeps your body in good shape. But, the tonality I achieved with yoga, when combined with lifting, was fantastic.

 

05 Chasing growth

 

I changed a couple of trainers, and each time it was because I felt the need to learn a little more and be pushed further. All my trainers have shared various inputs that have helped me learn the craft better.

 

06 The routine

 

I usually train six times a week, but, even if I can’t go to a class, I practise yoga at home. I’ve learnt enough to be able to wake up and practice 30 minutes of breathing and stretching, and perform Surya Namaskars. I begin each day with a headstand. If I’m in a rush, I’ll still practise yoga for 20 minutes. Then I’m ready to take on the world. I also weight train and practise Pilates twice a week each. When weight training, I concentrate on either the lower or upper half in one session.

 

07 Being consistent

 

 

I know that practice and concentration are key to progression. Initially, I couldn’t do a headstand; neither against the wall nor with a trainer’s assistance. Now, I can do it without any help. In fact, I can pull off variations in those positions too. Each time I can do a new variation, I feel great. It is a bit of struggle. You may feel like you are falling or tripping, and you need to be careful. But you have to be consistent.

 

08 Love thyself

 

Everyone has a different relationship with their body. Some people feel conscious, some are apprehensive, while others are open. From the beginning, I have always felt body-confident. I never looked at the body as a type — thin, large, small or medium. Also, I was an active child, and a runner. So, I gave importance to fitness. I respect those who give themselves an extra 10-30 minutes a day to remain fit. It’s about feeling good about yourself.

 

09 Age no bar

 

You have to accept that after 40, your body is not as receptive as it was at 25. With age, everything slows down. But that doesn’t stop me [from working hard]. I don’t let age deter me, or think that it will slow me down. There are no short-cuts. The day a person gets lazy, s/he has to be prepared for the outcome. Also, we worry too much about stretch marks and our weight. We need to look beyond that. You have to feel happy. Don’t let cellulite or pounds pull you down.

 

10 The wise parent

 

Arhaan [son] has always seen Arbaaz [Khan, former husband] and me being conscious about our health. I instil the importance of a healthy lifestyle in him because that’s what I should do as a parent. I’ve encouraged him to take up a sport instead of sitting at home and playing video games. I push him to start a new sport all the time. He sees that we all are a certain way [health conscious] and he has adopted that lifestyle.