In the sedentary society we live in today, age is used as an excuse to not work out. The older people get, the easier it becomes for them to get away with inactivity. Weak parts and joint pain are thought to be inevitable, and nothing is done to prevent them. Truth be told, the amount of rigour and intensity subjected to the body should increase as the years go by. This is because your muscles start degenerating in your late twenties – first at a slow rate and then suddenly, very fast.
Before it’s too late to turn things around, you must commit yourself to an all-encompassing and ever-evolving fitness routine. Stick to it like your life depends on it, because really, it does. Exercising regularly is the key to ever-lasting strength, stability, stamina, speed, balance and agility as you age, and even if you compromise on any one of these parameters, you won’t feel like your best self.
If you think that this is easier said than done and that it is, in reality, impossible to get stronger at your age, here are some Bollywood actors who have walked the talk when it comes to health and fitness. They’re all above 40, but don’t look a day older than 30! Check out what advice they have to give to men who want to get in shape at a later stage in their life:
Fitness advice: Balance is key.
Doing the same workout day in and day out can be monotonous. In order to keep the motivation alive, it’s important to switch up your routine from time to time. Hrithik Roshan, who’s referred to as the Greek God for his smashing looks and physique makes sure he does a little bit of everything everyday:
He dedicates his mornings to cardio, whereas the evenings to strength training. He’s also extremely particular about being exposed to sunlight for at least ten minutes, and advised his fans to find a way to do the same during the lockdown. This holistic approach trickles down to his diet as well. He likes his meals to have a healthy mix of macro and micronutrients.
Fitness advice: Be goal-oriented.
If you step out of your house with no destination in mind, you will end up roaming in circles. Someone who knows exactly where he wants to go, on the other hand, will waste no time and get there in a jiffy. The same goes for health and fitness. Envision how you want to look as well as feel within, and then do everything that needs to be done to attain that.
Farhan Akhtar, who’s known for undergoing a major body transformation for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and more recently, for Toofaan, always starts off by setting goals in terms of body type. This gives him a clear idea of how to work out and how much.
Fitness advice: Get fit the natural way.
Akshay Kumar is a big advocate of getting fit the natural way. He doesn’t believe in taking short cuts, as he knows they will only reap short term results. Instead, he creates routines that help him cultivate consistency. For example, he goes to bed by 9PM and wakes up at 5:30AM everyday.
This gives him a lot of time to exercise before heading out for shoots. Being an early riser also helps him get his daily dose of sunlight, rather than relying on Vitamin D tablets. The action hero is all for homemade superfoods and steers away from protein powders and other supplements.
Fitness advice: Play a sport.
John Abraham is known to kill it in the gym every single day. That’s how he has this big and burly body. He’s extremely diligent with his workouts and exercises every part, from his legs to his abs and from his arms to his thighs, turn by turn.
However, as majestic as he looks, he is a normal human being who loses motivation from time to time. When this happens, instead of beating himself up, the actor turns to an enjoyable physical activity, like cycling or football, to get his daily dose of endorphins. Playing sports is his way of overcoming a fitness slump.
Fitness advice: Nothing replaces hard work.
Aamir Khan is another Bollywood actor who has stunned audiences with his drastic body transformations for his roles. It’s all a result of his pursuit of perfection. He is someone who respects his craft too much to take it for granted. Every small detail matters to him.
He ensures living an experience instead of hiring stunt doubles and prosthetics to do it for him. If you’re setting out on your fitness journey after 40, don’t give yourself the leeway to slack off or take things slowly. Go all out or not at all. Know that you won’t achieve your ideal body type without working hard for it.
Saif Ali Khan
Fitness advice: Don’t underestimate the benefits of a long walk.
Not everyone likes the idea of sweating it out in the gym every single day. The intensity overwhelms them and they might as well go for a form of exercise that is less strenuous, but more sustainable. Saif Ali Khan is one Bollywood actor who feels this way. And yet, he’s managed to stay in amazing shape even after crossing 50!
He credits his fitness to taking long walks whenever he’s pressed for time or not in the mood to do a proper workout. It makes for a great cardio session and helps with everything from increasing leg strength to improving lung capacity and losing weight.
Fitness advice: Cultivate patience and perseverance.
Anil Kapoor looks like he’s ageing backwards. When asked how he’s managed to stay so fit and youthful for this long, he said that it’s all a result of thinking long term. It’s not about eating right and exercising for a week or two. It’s about doing it for years together, until it becomes a way of life.
Patience and perseverance are key here. Take as much rest as your body requires, but never think of quitting. Be kind to yourself when you fall, but teach yourself how to stand back tall and fight. That’s the only fitness mantra he swears by.
It’s never too late!
Cover artwork by Dhaval Punatar/AskMen India
You May Also Dig: