Model, actor and fitness freak, Milind Soman has done it all. The man who broke the TV screens with his ‘Made in India’ video debut has since emerged as a fitness icon after completing the Ironman triathlon, which included a 3.8-km swim, a 180.2-km cycle ride and a 42.2-km run, in under 16 hours.
He’s since gone on to compete in the The ‘Ultra Endurance Event’ in Florida in 34 hours and 46 minutes, where he completed a 10 km swim, a 424 km bike ride and an 84 km run. And he did it barefoot. In an interview with FIT, this superhuman reveals his routine, inspirations and more.
When asked about his fitness routine, Milind Soman mentioned that he does not conform to a particular routine and doesn’t even go to the gym. Instead he believes in staying active all the time instead of having a rigid exercise regime. He runs and swims whenever he can, and does push-ups if nothing else. Soman actively makes fitness a part of his lifestyle.
"I make sure that I am active all time. For example I make it a point not to use the lift or escalator. If there is a staircase then I will climb it, even if it is 10 floors. " - Milind Soman
For him staying active is more important than exercise. After quitting competitive swimming in 1988 where he used to swim for over 65 kilometers a week, he started running in 2003. In those years Soman, did not engage in any form of exercise, but stuck to having an active lifestyle. He mentions that just by staying active he stayed in shape with no weight gain or changes in his body.
On regular exercise and going to the gym, Soman says that there is no point in just 2 hours of exercise if you have to sit in the office for 7 or 8 hours without any movement. Paying extra attention to whether you have enough physical movement in your life is extremely important.
Soman says that exercise these days has become a substitute for the activity we had in our lives earlier.
A lot of Soman’s inspiration comes from the people around him including his mother and his wife. He likes to surround himself with people who believe in the same things that he does. His Mother also believes in staying active by going on treks almost every month. Bringing up a video that he posted on Instagram of his mother planking, Soman mentions that he taught her how to plank and how to do push-ups.
"Health and fitness are two very different things. Fitness is something that you can aspire for in terms of levels of achievements. The level of fitness can be evaluated, if you are fit to run a 100 meters or climb the Mount Everest." - Milind Soman
For him fitness isn’t about running or climbing a mountain, it is about leading life in a positive way. “What you take away from the difficult situations you are faced with, an important lesson, that determines how fit you are.” he said.
For people who are just starting out with running and working out, Milind Soman only has one tip, take it slow. Getting fit is getting to know your mind and your body and developing awareness about your body.
On oral hygiene, he says that it is extremely important since its the gateway to your body. You have to careful about what goes in your mouth and how clean you keep it.
On Dieting and Food
Conforming to the new fad of dieting is not something that Soman believes in. He says that exercise and endurance sports build a kind of awareness about your body which makes one mindful of the choices they make in terms of what and how much to eat. Once you have this kind of awareness there will be no cheat days, simply because you know what is good for you and this decision making will come automatically.
Working out at the age of 53 when most people usually give up with the mindset of being too old, Soman says “It is all in the mind. If you convince your mind that you can’t give up then your body will automatically follow.”
"The mascot of PInkathon is 103 years old, who started running at the age of 93 and is the world champion in her age group in the 100 meters sprint. So what is too old?" - Milind Soman
According to Soman, fitness is mainly about making the mind strong. If you are mentally tired then it becomes increasingly difficult to stay fit. To stay fit you need to work on your mind.
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