Dancing in a group is a fun way to stay fit, says actor Divya Dutta – fitness

Divya Dutta, 42, is a National Award-winning actress best known for her performances in Veer Zara, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Manto and Stanley ka Dabba. Her upcoming projects include Gul Makai, based on life of Nobel Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai, and Sheer Qorma, where she will appear alongside Shabana Azmi and Swara Bhaskar. Dutta also authored a memoir, titled Me and Maa. As an actress she likes to play roles that let her reinvent herself, she says. Here’s a look at how she keeps fit.

Fitness, to me, does not mean a six-pack; it means being the best version of myself. My goal is that, when I look in the mirror, I should be pleased and not frustrated with what I see.

I exercise about five days a week and keep changing it up so that I enjoy my schedule. I swim, do yoga, and exercise at a gym. Right now, I am hooked to zumba and aqua zumba, which I love. They’re both great cardio workouts, and increase muscle strength, flexibility and endurance. And dancing in a group to music is just such a fun way to stay fit.

When travelling, I either use a gym or do suryanmaskars in my hotel room. I also carry some light weights so I can do some weight-training.

As far as diet goes, I eat what my grandparents ate — fresh, simple home-cooked food. Currently, I am avoiding wheat and white sugar. Once in a while, I do eat fresh raw sugarcane, it satisfies my craving for sweets, and is natural, nutritious and good for the digestive system.

I start my day with lukewarm water in which fennel seeds have been soaking. Followed by fruit, oats, eggs or poha. Lunch is jowar rotis, salad, dal and veggies. When hungry I munch on makhana and dry fruit. Dinner could be dal and rice or soup and salad. Being a Punjabi I have a sweet tooth and I do eat kheer once in a while. I also allow myself the occasional indulgence of chocolate. And I have wheat parathas on Sundays.

When it comes to mental wellness, I have learnt how to distract myself when stressed. It’s not easy, but I’ve got the knack of counting to 10 and then focusing on something else. I’ve learnt that, just as you have to train the body, you have to train the mind.

I am fond of music; it is my constant companion. I find writing therapeutic. And I also unwind by going for a drive with my nephew and niece, or playing with them. I have a pet dog and I love taking her for walks on the beach. Spending time with her simply de-stresses me. And in the mornings, I like to set aside all screens for a while and listen instead to the chirping of birds.

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