From daily pranayams to electrical muscle stimulation, Rakesh Roshan discusses his fitness routine and acting aspirations
Rakesh Roshan practises the electrical muscle stimulation technique, after being encouraged by Sanjay Dutt to give it a shot
A series of posts shared by Hrithik Roshan in 2018 brought his father Rakesh Roshan’s dedication towards his fitness regimen, to the fore. Highlighting that in the hours that preceded his surgery to treat tongue cancer, Roshan senior had been sweating it out at his home gym, the actor pointed out that his father had served as an inspiration on his fitness journey too.
Rakesh Roshan, evidently in great shape as he inches towards his 73rd birthday in September, reveals that he decided to treat his cancer diagnosis like he would “any other illness”. “When I learnt that I have carcinoma of the tongue, I did get a jolt. But then I decided to turn the tide in my favour. I treated it like a common illness, and did not let it drag me down. I would take radiation and chemo, and head to the office. Yes, it did affect my fitness levels. I couldn’t train for eight months due to the weakness, and also lost 12 kilos. I lost my muscle mass, and my skin became loose. But then I started to push myself to exercise and it took me three months to return to my daily routine,” says Roshan.
Given that Hrithik has, over his two decade-long career, established himself as among the fittest stars of the industry, it’s easy to conclude that the actor was instrumental in egging his parents to adopt healthier habits. However, Roshan points out that he amended his habits ever since he got admitted to military school. “I have been exercising for years. I developed a fitness-conscious lifestyle since I studied in a military school, so I would train a lot. I was a sports-person and at the top when it came to sports, be it cricket, hockey, football, horse-riding, or volleyball. Today, I wake up at 7.30 am and practise yoga, and pranayams [breathing exercises]. From 8.30 am to 9.30 am, I walk, either on the treadmill, or on the terrace. Every weekend, I head to my Khandala home, and walk and train there.”
At buddy Sanjay Dutt’s behest, he adopted the Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. “While exercising, it stimulates the body through electric currents. It promotes weight loss by building muscle mass, and boosting metabolism, and enhances toning. I started practising it a few months ago and I have seen a lot of changes. Sanjay encouraged me to do it.”
While Hrithik rectifies his form if they train together, Roshan senior says he exercises on his own accord. “I try to stay fit because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone, or lead an unhealthy life. I have worked for over 50 years, since the age of 16, when my father passed on. Now, I just want to lead a healthy lifestyle, and enjoy myself. Being fit adds positivity to your life. Subsequently, it becomes easier to achieve things. Post the surgery, it’s been a tough journey, but, I braved it sportingly. If you are not strong, you are failing somewhere, and that can get you depressed. Fitness also makes a difference to my work. I can overcome challenging circumstances in life.”
Discussion on fitness is commonplace at his home. Roshan says even his grandkids, Suranika, Hrehaan and Hridhaan, exercise together. “Everybody has their own trainers, and it’s like attending a picnic. When I see my grandsons perform acrobatics, I have the desire to go back to my childhood. Being healthy is not just fun, but is the best way to live life.”
We can’t let him go without asking him the reason behind his new look. “I just started growing a beard as I wanted to try a new look. I might return to the screen, if I get a good character to play, and it’s worth my while.”
Roshan on his diet
Breakfast: It is a heavy meal comprising six eggs with toast.
Lunch: I will have a non-vegetarian dish comprising boiled or grilled foods. None of this is cooked in oil.
Dinner: At about 5.30 pm, I will have a sandwich, upma or a bowl of poha. I avoid eating anything at night.
Post dinner: If I feel hungry, I may have a salad, peanuts, makhana, or kurmura.
The Cheats: Tusshar Kapoor
What’s your cheat meal: Cheese and pepperoni pizza, or pasta in white sauce.
How often do you indulge: When I’m in Mumbai, it’s once in 15 days. If I’m on vacation, then I usually also exercise, and have a specific vacation diet.
Cheat meal Vs cheat day: I used to have cheat days, now I have a cheat meal. It depends on what I feel like eating.
Do you compensate for it: Sometimes. I don’t train on that day, because [I feel like] it gets wasted. But I resume training the next day. I don’t train extra, because it doesn’t really help.
Inside Gauahar Khan's Fridge
Fitness Tip That works For
Ayushmann Khurrana prefers to consume home-cooked meals, even while travelling for a shoot. The actor reconnects with friends residing in the cities that he visits, and likes to have his meals prepared at home.