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Akshay Kumar is still a heartthrob for millions of his fans in India and overseas. BFH‘s consulting editor Sourendra Das met Akshay at the Acropolis to chew the fat about his fitness regime, diet plan and his vastly enthralling journey.
You are still quite a heartthrob for millions; what has been your fitness regime?
I was studying at Mumbai university and dropped out of college to pursue my passion for martial arts. I went to Bangkok to learn martial arts and lived in Thailand for five years learning Thai Boxing and Muay Thai. I still wake up early at 5am and start my day with a brisk walk to warm up my body. After this, I practise shadow-boxing and kick-boxing for an hour. Also, I practise yoga and meditation after a rigorous workout to calm my mind. I also include cardio workouts like hopping, hiking, stair climbing, and swimming. I never miss out on my regular workouts in the gym and love to play basketball thrice a week too. If you have a strong core, it reduces your risk of getting back pain.
You have maintained your physique so well; what diet would you recommend?
I believe in eating a balanced diet and prefer home-cooked foods to stay healthy and fit, which is one of my fitness secrets. I finish my dinner by 7pm as my body needs time to digest the food. You should eat around 2-3 hours before bed, leading to good digestion and quality sleep at night. I believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I start my day with a heavy meal and a glass of milk. My lunch usually consists of a balanced meal of lentils, green vegetables, brown rice, chapati, lean meat and a bowl of curd. My last meal of the day is mostly a light combination of salads, soups and sautéed veggies. I eat a light dinner, and I take soup or a boiled egg if I feel hungry after supper.
How has your journey spanned three decades in the Indian film industry?
I feel incredibly privileged to get so much love from my fans in India and overseas. Over the years, the novelty has been the only thing that attracts audiences because it is intriguing. The first decade was the Khiladi days when I only did action films. In the second decade, I tried my hand at other things like comedy and romance – and got the directors and producers to see me in another light, to listen and possibly give me different work. The first ten years of my career were like running a martial arts school on-screen with many action films. This decade is about pushing my limits and changing with every film. Now I want to do something entirely different, possibly with each new movie.
What are your views on entertainment vs responsibility towards society?
As an actor, I choose subjects that I find entertaining and those that excite me. If they help in giving out a message to the audience, it is a bonus. Cinema does play a vast role in disseminating key messages and spotlighting key themes and issues of society. Often it can be a mirror to our society, and thus it can educate, entertain & inspire people too.