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Updated: August 16, 2013 17:21 IST

Run for life

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A sporty spirit: Gul Panag. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu A sporty spirit: Gul Panag. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Eating right and running are an important part of Gul Panag’s health regimen

A machine-led health regimen doesn’t appeal to everybody and Gul Panag is one of those. She loves to run, she announced at HCD Pinkathon – Run To lead, Delhi 2013, a 10-km run for women, to create awareness about breast cancer.

“I love the idea of running. It provides solution to so many of life’s problems. If you are stressed out, you go for a quick run and you come back thinking you can handle anything. Because suddenly you are confused with endorphins positive hormones that last in the body for good 18 hours. That means you are all set till next day. The lasting power of endorphins releases through not just running but any activity which raises your heart beat rate and is just fantastic. I just feel that who haven’t experienced it are missing so much in life. I think as a nation, the need for fitness for us, is rising,” said Gul Panag at the event.

Actor, model and former beauty queen who was last seen in Turning 30 feels working out isn’t the best option for a toned body. “That’s a myth. Exercise and gym is one’s part of fitness but a more important part is eating right. And that’s the part we just don’t think of. We eat food that gives us energy expenditure of 8-9 hours. Sixty to sixty five per cent of how you look is what you eat. You make wrong food choices, no matter how much time you spend in a gym, you will just face disappointment. And I would not call it a diet. It’s just about eating healthy”.

Gul, who has acted in films like Dor, Manorama Six Feet Under, says fitness is endurance, strength and flexibility. “One without the other two is useless. There is no point if you run 20 kilometres but you have zero strength in your body. Exercise regime involves all three in equal proportions”.

Sports is an integral part of her fitness regime. “I try and play a bit of tennis. My typical regime is three days of strength exercises and three days are of running, cycling and swimming.” Gul emphasises eating right and refraining from excessive use of cosmetics.

“I try and get a good amount of protein into my body. I exercise a lot so my body needs about 55-65 grams of protein in a day so I make sure I meet that requirement through eggs, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. I try and stay away from starch on days I am not running. On the days I run, I consume starchy foods, lots of rice, bread, pasta, potatoes. And I try deriving my energy from complex carbohydrates on the days I am not running.”

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