Get set go for health

It’s time to bring out those running shoes; Pinkathon is back again

Published - April 21, 2016 04:15 pm IST - Chennai

(left to right) Neerja Malik, Milind Soman, Tanvi Shah, Anita Ratnam and Muthu Selvi. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

(left to right) Neerja Malik, Milind Soman, Tanvi Shah, Anita Ratnam and Muthu Selvi. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

A bit of discipline, will power, running shoes and enthusiasm are all you need to make that major lifestyle change. With Pinkathon making a comeback in the city with its third edition, it’s time to lace up and run. Scheduled to take place on June 5 this year, the event hopes to inspire women to get fit and change the way they look at their health — and, of course, spread awareness about important health issues.

According to Milind Soman, actor, model and founder of Pinkathon, “It is extremely important for women to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The future of health and fitness in the country depends on them, since they are such huge influencers at home in matters of lifestyle. Pinkathon is about creating a positive atmosphere for themselves. It is not about just one run — it is to inspire them to make that lifestyle change.”

The event this time will see prominent names from the city, like Anita Ratnam and Tanvi Shah, lend their support to the cause. It also includes a special 3-km category that will have visually and hearing-impaired people as mascots. One of them, Muthu Selvi, also a lawyer, who was present at the event, said, “I usually address groups about women’s empowerment in terms of independence and their rights. But I always forget to talk about the importance of women’s health. I suppose it is now time to change that.”

Talking about what fitness means to her, Anita said that women may have made tremendous progress in the corporate world, “but when it comes to their health, they lag miserably. My grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 90 without any health issues at all. But look at young women today. They are ready to take on the world, but they don’t realise the effect of their desk jobs and sedentary lifestyles. It is up to us to change that.” According to her, she feels a lot fitter now than she did at 40.

“I was born in the 1950s, when access to information about these things was rather low. But these days, there’s earlier onset of menopause and whole host of lifestyle-related illnesses. It is time we understood our bodies, found a fitness regime that works for us and changed the way we eat. Pinkathon should be a commitment to yourself and your health. It is time we begin to understand our bodies and nourish them the way they need to be.”

Also present at the event was Neerja Malik, a two-time cancer survivor and author of I inspire , who believes that it was her active lifestyle pre-diagnosis that helped her battle it.

“Yes, a woman’s family is important, and so are her responsibilities. But you’ve got to make some time for yourself too. Don’t put health on the back burner. Your health is just as important as the rest of the family’s,” she said.

The fact that most of us rank health and family as top priority, but rarely spend any time on either, says a lot about the kind of lifestyles we lead, said Milind, while urging women to change mindsets.

“At most marathons in the country, participation from women stands at just eight or 10 per cent. While this can be attributed to various factors like time constraints and intimidation, at Pinkathon we want to change that,” he said.

(The third edition of Pinkathon in Chennai will be held on June 5 at Island Grounds. To register log on to

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