I love memorising shayaris and narrating them: Shikhar Dhawan – fitness

Shikhar Dhawan, 34, is the only batsman in the world to win the golden bat twice at the ICC Champions Trophy. He holds the record for least time taken by an Indian batsman to get to 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 ODI runs. Here’s a look at how the stylish player with the handlebar moustache keeps fit enough for all those quick dives and dashes between the wickets.

*There are no short cuts to fitness. It takes hard work, determination and discipline. As a cricketer, I focus on overall fitness in a rather intense way. I exercise five days a week with a trainer — doing yoga, weight-training, functional training and strengthening of the back because as a batsman that is of utmost importance. I also focus a lot on my core.

*My favourite exercises are squats because I like to feel like I’m helping strengthen my legs and spine, which bear such a burden in this sport. Running is another favourite exercise of mine; you burn calories easily and it’s good practice. I do lot of running in my sport.

*Overall, I lead an active life — besides cricket, which is my passion and profession, I play table-tennis, squash and football and I love to go horse-riding.

*I have recently turned vegetarian and I avoid sugar, processed foods and fried foods. I start my day with a protein shake and idli or dosa along with fruit. I eat a lot of fresh fruit, and avocado, through the day. I eat dinner by 7 pm; like lunch it’s dal, sabzi, rice, with sometimes paratha or dessert. I do eat out and enjoy dim sum, salads and soups.

*For relaxation, I turn to the flute. I’ve been taking lessons for nearly five years. I find it extremely calming and soothing. I also love reading, listening to and memorising shayaris and then narrating them to my friends.

*I like to travel, especially amid nature, with my family, my wife and our three kids.

*Cricket is a high-pressure, physically challenging game, so adequate rest and relaxation are essential. Meditation has made a huge difference to my life. It helps me start my day with positivity, and helps me hold on to that positivity through the day too.

*I am a great believer in the power of positive energy and I take challenges and injuries in my stride and always look forward, to each challenge making me stronger.

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