Fit & Famous
Mesmerizing midriff, sleek physique, toned-to-perfection limbs… How does Shilpa Shetty Kundra stay in such killer shape all the time? Read on, to fiND OUT…
The secret behind Shilpa Shetty’s super toned and svelte figure
From the time she made her Bollywood debut, Shilpa Shetty has had one of the most enviable bodies in the industry. What’s striking is that at 43, she continues to sizzle with her ultra-fit and super toned figure. How does she manage to keep her body looking so amazing all the time? ‘H&N’ does some straight talk with the gorgeous actress, anchor and fitness freak to find some answers… Excerpts from the interview…
From the time we’ve set eyes on you, you’ve had one of the most toned, fit and picture-perfect bodies in the industry, and still do... What’s the secret? Thank you for the compliment! Well, I don’t know about having one of the most toned bodies in the industry but yes I started working seriously towards fitness and not just being in shape six years ago after my son Viaan was born. Till then when age is on your side, when you have not really put on any weight and didn’t have issues with belly fat, you are good. I think I was one of the first actresses to get a club membership in those days or go down to the gym and work out while the heroes also worked out during shoots. And I think that came from the fact that my father was an athlete and I was a state level volleyball player. I also have a green belt in karate. So my fitness levels were always great and when I joined the industry, I was really young, so that kind of showed on screen too, though I think I did have a lot of baby fat in ‘Baazigar’. But once I started working out regularly, I realized I wanted to stay and be fit always.
You are one of the most sought after yoga icons in the country today… When did your tryst with yoga happen? I got introduced to yoga 15 years ago when I had an injury - a cervical issue in my neck. My physiotherapist told me to do some yoga exercises to
“My father was an athlete and I was a state level volleyball player. I also have a green belt in karate. So my fitness levels were always great and when I joined the industry, I was really young, so that kind of showed on screen too.”
strengthen my neck. That’s when I joined yoga classes and started loving it. It not only strengthened my neck but also toned, stretched and made my body more flexible. I realized yoga was a long-term plan for me and not just a quick fix, and ever since, I’ve been quite loyal. I believe that yoga is the only holistic form of exercise. Apart from its physical benefits, you also become mentally fit, calmer and are able to think in a more positive fashion. There are only positives when you start to do yoga.
Which form of fitness do you enjoy the most? And why? My aim is to be fit - the form doesn’t matter. It can be yoga, core strengthening, high intensity training - anything that improves my strength, agility and flexibility is the form I enjoy. I also enjoy free hand exercises and do weights for my legs. With age, you need to strengthen your muscles as you lose a lot of bone density and muscle mass.
Tell us about your current workout schedule… I don’t have a schedule as such, as I am quite busy with my work and being a full-time mum. But I try my best to get in three days of yoga and three days of weight training. I try to do 1015 minutes of deep breathing every day. One or two days of the week, I just let go and give my body rest to rejuvenate and recover from my workouts. I also travel a lot which takes a toll on my health. So as much importance as I give to my regime in the gym, I give that much or more importance to my sleep and rest too.
You’re also a fabulous dancer… Does it help in keeping you fit? I don’t get the time to dance much now but my son makes sure that I dance around his little finger. When I used to do movies and shows, dancing was part of my regime. Now, I try to make sure I dance a bit when I go to a close friend’s party or when I have a party at my own house. Letting my hair down on the dance floor is one way of telling myself that this will also help me burn calories.
Have you always been diet and food conscious too, or did it happen one fine day? There was definitely a big shift in my life when my son was born. When you give birth
“Yoga is the only holistic form of from exercise. Apart its physical benefits, you also become mentally fit, calmer think and are able to in a more positive fashion.“
to a child, you realize you are responsible for a human being and his health is in your hands. I started reading up a lot on health and nutrition as I wanted to give the best to my child. Those times were a revelation to me when I understood what to eat, when to eat, what to buy, the whole difference between organic and pesticideladen food. It made me more conscious as a human being.
How important is emotional/ mental health for you in the overall scheme of things? What do you do to keep your mental health in top shape always? Yoga is extremely important to me and the reason I turn to yoga is because we live in a very fickle, shallow world today where we are constantly being judged. And it’s very easy to lose focus and become insecure. Yoga centres me and gives me the confidence in what I am doing. People are struggling with mental health issues and are not able to express themselves and get help. I would suggest yoga to all those people. From my own experience, I can say that it has made a big difference to my life.
Is your husband Raj Kundra as fitness and health conscious as you? How healthy an influence have you been on him? Between the two of us, definitely I think I am healthier. Raj is a Punjabi and lives to eat but having said that, after nine years of marriage and two years of courting each other, just about mid of this year, he gave up sugar. It wasn’t because I told
“Raj is a Punjabi and lives to eat but having said that, after nine years of marriage and two years of courting each other, just about mid of this year, he gave up sugar. It wasn’t because I told him to, but because he realized himself how bad it was for him.”
him to, but because he realized himself how bad it was for him. As per research, a spoonful of sugar brings down your immunity for the next six hours. Raj and I allow ourselves to indulge on Sundays, but otherwise, we’ve eliminated sugar from our lives. So yes, I have been a good influence on his food habits and health. He has become a little fitness conscious too as he realizes how important it is for parents to be healthy as children learn from the parents. Our son too realizes that when we aren’t eating dessert on a normal day, he shouldn’t be doing it too. So we practice what we preach.
Going down memory lane, tell us something about what attracted you to Raj? His nature. Raj is a very simple, secure and happy person and that’s what attracted me towards him. And in physicality, it was his smile!
How do Raj and you handle misunderstandings and tiffs? And how do you’ll make up after a fight? We talk - that’s the best way
be “My aim is to fit - the form doesn’t be yoga, matter. It can , strengthening core training high intensity - anything that strength, improves my is agility and flexibility the form I enjoy.”
to go about things if there’s an issue. We try not to have a conflict, in the sense that we try to keep the discussions to discussions and not arguments, and that, I think, is really important in a marriage. You need to be able to talk and hear each other out. We make sure we reach a point midway – either he understands or I do, and that’s how we’ve led our lives so far.
What are the parenting mantras that you and Raj abide by, when it comes to your son Viaan? We know we are not perfect, but we also know that we are striving to do the best for our child. Both of us try to be handson parents. Even though we are both busy working, one of us is always there to put Viaan to bed. We actually haven’t taken a holiday on our own without Viaan, and this is the first time in nine years that we will be doing so - that’s how much our son means to us. We don’t argue in front of him – always do it in the confines on our room. These are the little rules we follow. It’s also important to not conflict about
not to “Raj and I try in the have a conflict, try to sense that we keep the discussions and not to discussions that, arguments, and I think, is really important in a marriage.”
what we are saying to our child. If mama has said ‘no’, you can’t go to papa for a ‘yes’.
The fitness enthusiast that you are, are you inculcating fitness habits in Viaan too? And what are they like? We try and not include sugar in our son’s life too. We try and make our own ice creams at home so he doesn’t miss out on the sweet tooth that he has and is satiated. I try and make those ice lollies and cakes in nonrefined sugar; we use a lot of coconut sugar in our baking items. Viaan, at six-and-a-half, also realizes that sugar is not very good for him. But unfortunately, everything out there has sugar in it – from drinks to colas to cornflakes. So you have to be aware as a parent and inculcate the right habits in your child. How do you juggle work and home? What are your work-life principles? It’s a difficult job to do but it’s the same for any parent. I just make sure that when I am at work, I give it my 100% and when I am home, I am a 100% mother. You can’t have guilt feeling trickling into your work space as that will hamper the quality of your work. I try my best to be there for all of
in “We don’t argue always front of him – do it in the confines These on our room. are the little rules also we follow. It’s important to not what conflict about to our we are saying has child. If mama can’t go said ‘no’, you ‘yes’. to papa for a
Viaan’s important occasions, which is difficult but I know that my son and family come first. I just try to be the best I can at both places.
What do you do to destress and relax? I meditate at the end of the day every night, and thank the Lord for everything he has blessed me with. I also do some deep breathing before sleeping. I try and get in a massage whenever I can, that helps me destress.
A health message you’d like to give your readers… It’s never too late to make a change in your life and nothing is life is difficult to achieve. We live in a time and age where food is mixed with pesticide. A lot of awareness needs to happen with label reading. So educate yourself about what you put into your body. Start reading. Breathe more. Sleep more and prioritize your health above everything else.
late “It’s never too in to make a change your life and nothing to is life is difficult achieve. Educate what yourself about you put into your body. Start reading. Sleep Breathe more. more and prioritize your health above everything else.”
With Raj and Viaan