Bollywood’s fitness fanatics: Akshay Kumar was fit long before he starred in blockbuster films

Akshay Kumar

Actor Akshay Kumar is one of Bollywood’s fittest actors. Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

Ever wonder how Bollywood’s top stars stay in such great shape? Well, you can stop wondering because Shama Bhagat of the Hindustan Times was able to sweat out some fitness tips from four of the Indian entertainment industry’s favouite stars: Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha, Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor. In this article, Akshay Kumar describes how he makes time for martial arts and meditation in his daily regimen.

Akshay Kumar was a fitness freak long before he joined the film industry. He has always maintained that he treats his body like a temple. Even though the martial arts enthusiast doesn’t follow any set rules as far as his fitness regimen is concerned, he does have some simple directives he sticks to when it comes to exercise and eating well.

“I eat home-cooked food and I do not take any myoplex or protein supplements,” says Khiladi Kumar, as he is fondly called. “My meals have always consisted of my mother’s parathas. I eat to my heart’s content, but at the same time, I also make sure I burn every extra calorie I consume.”

“Never treat your injuries lightly. Either rest or go to a physiotherapist. Don’t try and deal with your injuries on your own. Fortunately, I have never suffered any major injuries.”

As for his regimen, Akshay’s day begins with a walk on the beach at 4:30 a.m.

“That’s how I warm up before I start exercising, which is followed by an hour of martial arts. For me, martial arts is a way of life. I also alternate between kick boxing and shadow boxing. And I do a lot of stretching and yoga to cool off. Then I meditate for an hour,” says the actor, who has made a mark for himself as an action star.

“Morning time is ‘me time.’ It gives me the space to be on my own and think.”

When he’s shooting and doesn’t have time to dedicate to martial arts, he makes do — even with just a staircase.

Playboy Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar doesn’t usually stay up late partying with Playboy bunnies or anyone else for that matter — he’s usually in bed by 10 p.m. Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

“When I was shooting for Singh Is Kinng (2008) in Singapore I would climb 75 floors. That is my way to fitness,” says Akshay, who has an artificial tree in his gym that he climbs regularly.

In terms of diet, Akshay’s day begins with a healthy breakfast. His meal consists of parathas and a glass of milk, followed by a bowl of fruit at noon.

“I never skip my meals unless I am very full. Lunch is dal, roti, vegetables, chicken and a bowl of curd. I usually avoid tea and coffee. In the evenings, I have a glass of fresh fruit juice without sugar,” says Akshay.

“I don’t eat after 8 p.m, so dinner is usually light, comprising a roti and chicken. I go to bed early, unless I am shooting. My day ends with an hour of meditation and by 10 p.m., I am in bed.”

Some might say that Akshay’s secret to his energy is his enthusiasm. For him, exercising isn’t an effort, it’s a way of life.

“I do not stay fit just because it is a fad, I love being fit,” says Akshay.

“When you treat your body like a temple, it takes care of everything automatically. Drink lots of water, hydrate yourself and that takes care of your skin and your hair. You don’t need to do anything more than that,” he says.

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