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    The actress on how to stay toned and happy, minus treadmills and diets

    ctress Taapsee Pannu declares that a 40-minute workout, five days a week, is all it takes to keep fit. Recently spotted at the Lakme Fashion Week, walking the ramp for Vir Das’ just-launched Weirdass collection, the Baby actress says, “I don’t like running mindlessly on the same spot, on a treadmill. I believe that while I work out, my mind has to be involved and alert at the same time. So I prefer playing a game of squash or doing lengthy laps in a pool.” She points out what is medically proven—using your mind while doing cardio can yield better results as you’re psychologically focussed on the task at hand. Adding that she dances, too, as a form of workout, she dimples, “As an actress, it helps me both ways.” She also practises breathing exercises and pranayams. “They are great for curing daily ailments, even thyroid issues. A regular dose of cardio (a game, swimming or just running) coupled with pranayam can make a complete workout,” she says.
    A case for salads
    Mention the word diet, and the Punjabi kudi who loves her aloo tikkis, says she believes one should eat what one loves. Instead of following the “starve yourself to the bone” regimen. “Make sure you spend a bit more time on your daily exercises to get rid of those extra kilos,” she says. Last seen in movies like Kanchana 2 and Vai Raja Vai, the 28-year-old keeps track of her iron intake—a must for clear skin and cutting lethargy. “I have a salad of leafy greens a day. A sprout salad with some lime and chaat masala sprinkled on it can make for a yummy dinner. Though I do sometimes give in to my cravings and help myself to paav bhaji,” she laughs.
    Stating that she is not a morning person, Pannu says she doesn’t agree with the ‘wake up early and exercise’ school of thought. “I wake up at a decent hour and detox with a litre of warm water, while munching on prunes, figs and almonds, followed by green tea and a helping of eggs or cereal. Post my swim or squash, I have coconut water,” she says, adding that after a heavy breakfast, she keeps cutting down her food intake as the day progresses, ending with boiled vegetables or a salad for dinner.
    Water play
    Talking about her workout regimen while travelling on shoots, she points out that since most hotels have a swimming pool, she ensures she does her laps before turning in for the night. “I also carry a lot of fruits while I’m on the go, to keep the hunger pangs away. My mantra is to keep my body toned. Shedding calories is simple. Keeping the body toned is something that can only be achieved with a healthy balance of eating, playing and loving your workouts,” adds Pannu, who is preparing to play a cop and attempt some action stunts in Selvaraghavan’s film, Kaan, opposite Silambarasan.
    — Niranjana Hariharanandanan

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