Work out not to become skinny but to stay healthy: Sophie Choudry

Written by Jayashree Narayanan
| New Delhi |

Published: December 4, 2019 8:29:11 pm





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Fresh out of her show Work It Up, part of TikTok’s #EduTok initiative, actor and celebrity host Sophie Choudry is all praises for people who have joined the fitness bandwagon. In the show, Choudry was seen chatting on fitness with actors Rakul Preet Singh, Malaika Arora and Shilpa Shetty Kundra among others as they sweated it out at their workout studios.

In the season finale, Katrina Kaif and trainer Yasmin Karachiwala let out their fitness mantras. Choudry, who was drawn to physical fitness since childhood, speaks to indianexpress.com about why she loves the Pilates reformer, and the lifestyle change that’s gaining ground in India.

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Woohoo just too excited!! Season finale of Work it Up streaming on @voot with none other than @katrinakaif 🙌🏼💪🏼🔥❤️🥰 My dearest Katrina , cannot thank you enough for being my finale guest on season 1 of Work It Up! You are the ultimate in fitness goals, an absolute sweetheart, a total inspiration to millions out there & even to me every time I see you work out!! Cannot wait for people to see you in the show!! And my Yas @yasminkarachiwala !! Nothing is possible without you! Thank you for all your support during this show and more importantly every single day!! I love you too much!! ❤️ #katrinakaif #yasminkarachiwala #pilatesgirls #workitup #workitupwithsophie #seasonfinale #edutok #edutoklifetips #fitness #health #fitisthenewsexy #befitwithyasminkarachiwala #sophiefit #sophstylin #sophiechoudry #wecametoslay @indiatiktok @afewloosecanons My outfit @reebokindia styled by @wardrobist @iammanisha Hair @sheetal_f_khan Make-up @ambereen01 📸 @navindhyaniphoto

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Tell us about your initiation into fitness?

I was born and brought up in London and as a child, fitness meant mainly sports, but as I grew up, I took inspiration from my mother, who was an absolute fitness enthusiast. I started working out with her at home, following Jane Fonda workout videos, going to the gym with her — she did Pilates as well — at times, my grandmother joined us too. Ever since, fitness has been an integral part of my life and I feel overwhelmed to be running Work It Up with #EduTok.

Many actors have consciously started working out. In your opinion, what has led to the change?

Fitness is a state of wellbeing and, more specifically, the ability to efficiently perform daily activities. Actors live a tough life, just as any other regular person, but they realise that millions of people consider them as their role models. Hence, the message of fitness is a way to inspire their fans.

In the 90s, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt were the torch-bearers in inspiring so many people and later we saw actors such as Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff taking it a notch higher. They are spreading the word not just through their movies but through social media as well.

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What prompted you to host the show Work it Up for #EduTok?

I’m really passionate about two things — fitness and friends, and Work it Up with #EduTok brings together the best of both worlds, through workout sessions with my celebrity friends.

Tell us about your fitness routine on a day when you feel energetic and on a day when you may not.

I am a morning person, but my workout usually starts at 10 or 11 am. I go for Pilates three to four times a week and for the rest, I focus mostly on cardio. No matter how I am feeling, I am always game for Pilates. The other day, I had just slept for two hours in two nights but still showed up for my Pilates session because I had to stretch my body and realign myself. However, on the other hand, cardio is a bit difficult and you need a lot more energy for this. Hence, the key is to balance your workouts as there are days when your body needs rest.

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Which is your go-to workout routine that instantly lifts you up and why?

I love the Pilates reformer; it is so interesting and challenging. I like jumping on the reformer as it is hardcore strength and cardio, all in one and automatically lifts your mood.

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What’s your diet like? Do you have a cheat day?

I believe that diet plays a huge role in fitness. I avoid dairy products but am fine with gluten. I stick to a lot of grilled chicken, grilled vegetables and I don’t eat anything raw after 4 pm because it’s tough on the digestive system. It’s a myth that salads are good for health as with the wrong dressing, they can be fattening. Refined sugar is also something I stay away from. If I really feel like a cheat meal, I prefer chocolate chip pancakes with maple syrup.

What’s your post-workout diet like?

These days, I have a protein truffle and an ace blend protein shake. Sometimes, if my workout lasts late, then I just come home and have lunch.

Have movements like FitIndia contributed to awareness regarding fitness in the country?

Yes, definitely. All credits to our Prime Minister for this pioneer initiative and also to the people who started Fit India movement along with the ambassadors. It has encouraged people to lead a fit and healthy life following simple yet effective day-to-day exercises like running up the stairs, doing yoga at home, etc.

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What would be your advice for a work-life balance when it comes to fitness? 

One really just need to take out 20 minutes a day for some meditation, surya namaskar, walking your dog or running up and down the staircase. One should work out not to get skinny but to stay healthy. A legend like Amitabh Bachchan at his age is able to take up so much work because he has been conscious and mindful about his health all through his life. That’s why we have to find some ‘me time’ and focus on staying healthy.

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For someone looking to start out with exercise, what will be your advice?

My key message to beginners is to never over-commit. Don’t tell yourself that you will be working out daily for an hour. Try various forms of exercise — gym, dance or swimming — to see what you actually like.

Who according to you is the fittest in India and why?

There are a lot of fit people in the industry — Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff. Among actresses, there are several who have pioneered the fitness game. A lot of women in B-Town including Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Malaika Arora, Katrina Kaif, Rakulpreet, Deepika Padukone, Vani Kapoor and many more are super fit and healthy and show amazing dedication on their workout regime.

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