We’re aesthetically driven to have six-pack abs, this mindset is unhealthy: Saiyami Kher


Saiyami Kher believes real fitness lies in having a strong core. “I like it when people accept their own bodies and try to better themselves each day,” she says.
“Having a very strong ‘why’ behind your vision will keep you from falling back on your fitness goals,” explains Bollywood actor Saiyami Kher. A sports and fitness enthusiast, the Mirzya actor carefully chooses her words because she knows it’s difficult to be motivated in a world where people are quick to pull you down. “If you’re feeling low in the middle of a race and you start to question your capabilities, asking yourself ‘why’ you signed up for this will push you through your weakest moments,” says Kher, who is also an Adidas India athlete and is currently training for a triathlon this year and aiming to train for Ironman in 2020.

Taking part in an Ironman is always a big deal, and Kher understands the currency it holds among fitness enthusiasts. “I suddenly feel pressured, it’s a really big challenge because I have to mix up three disciplines together: swimming, cycling and running. I am going to participate in a few Olympic size triathlons to train for the Ironman in 2020 and focus big time on strength training to minimise injuries.”

Here, Saiyami Kher speaks to the indianexpress.com about running, emotional well-being and the importance of marathons.

I come from Nashik, a small town close to Mumbai. My entire childhood was spent playing outdoors, swimming and running around. So naturally, running became an integral part of my daily life.

When I shifted to Mumbai, it was difficult to play sports because I never found enough people to play with. So I started running, and all you needed was shoes and you could start at any time! I hadn’t participated in any races when I shifted, but I took part in the Bombay Marathon when I was 24. I timed 4 hours 58 minutes, and it was after this race that I started to take marathons and running seriously.

Since three years now, I have participated in 7-8 marathons, countless 10 km runs. I am now addicted to running and to keep myself motivated I always register for 10 km races.

Her advice: Train for a marathon to know yourself better, it’s a road to self-discovery, every marathon teaches you something. You will know everything about yourself when you do 42 km. It’s a battle with your mind.

When I train for marathons, I read up a lot of tips on how to manage it well and maintain a level of positivity to fuel me through the run.Her advice: Stay away from negative people, because you need positive reinforcement all the time. I keep my running activities very personal and don’t share it with the world. I also surround myself with like-minded runners because in your everyday routine all you end up doing is catching up for runs with those people and that’s a brilliant way to prioritise your goals.