“Tree lover and running person”, reads Milind Soman’s bio on his Instagram handle. Scroll down the page and you are met with numerous pictures and videos of him exercising, running and even trekking, often accompanied by his “super wife” Ankita Konwar. The duo recently climbed Uhuru Peak, the highest point of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Ahead of women’s run Pinkathon, which is scheduled for September 8 in the national capital, the actor tells indianexpress.com about his fitness mantra and why it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle.
You are a fitness enthusiast, have been a marathon runner and even a Limca Book Record holder. How would you describe fitness?
Fitness to me is not about how far you can run or how much weight you can lift. The ability to deal with life or the positive goals you have chosen determines how fit you are.
How important is it for one to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
A healthy lifestyle has helped me to live my life the way I want, and to be mentally and emotionally positive. I believe that most diseases are caused by stress — so developing a disciplined positive mind is most important, and mindful physical activity is a tool to help achieve that.
What is your go-to exercise routine? How many hours do you manage to exercise each day?
I don’t have an exercise routine. I run whenever I can and for as much time as possible. I do body-weight exercises regularly and challenge myself with learning new movements at least four times a year. I believe that being mindfully active all the time is more important than working out for 2-3 hours in a day, for overall health and fitness.
You wife is also a fitness enthusiast and is often seen accompanying you on runs. Do you motivate each other?
We run and exercise together often and choose event challenges that we can motivate each other for.
What does your diet chart look like on a day?
I eat whatever is available, but stay away from refined, packaged and over processed food as far as possible. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and minimise the consumption of meat.
What fitness tips would you give beginners?
Whenever you start something new, take it slow. Fitness is a process of learning about your body and your mind, and their connection. Speed and distance are overrated; regularity and gradual progress are the keys.
Pinkathon is in its seventh edition this year. Did you think it would be this successful when you started out?
Even in the first edition, the big surprise was not the number of women who turned up, but their energy and excitement that really blew us away. We realised that the Pinkathon was a unique space where women could get together in thousands, not for any political, religious or ideological reason but to celebrate themselves and their womanhood. Since then, women at Pinkathon have been inspiring each other to dream and imagine their lives from a completely different perspective.
How has the marathon evolved over the years?
It becomes more inclusive every year, reaching out to women from every background and circumstance, to make sure that no woman is left behind when we talk about health for all. The learnings for us over the years are immense, and our efforts to continually address the obstacles faced by women when it comes to taking care of their health, and the experience of the event itself, have made the Pinkathon immensely popular.