How is Milind Soman so fit at 55? Here’s his fitness mantra: Interview

Milind Soman looking at the camera

The much-awaited Season 2 of Supermodel of the Year is set to go on air on August 22 on MTV India. The show is ready to set the stage on fire with its oomph factor. With #UnapologeticallyYou being this year’s theme, the makers are trying to address and eradicate the stigma surrounding the unconventional and are encouraging everyone to embrace their individuality. Malaika Arora, Milind Soman and Anusha Dandekar will be a part of the judges’ panel this season, unlike last season where designer Masaba Gupta and supermodel Ujjwala Raut were seen judging the show. In an exclusive chat with India, we had Milind Soman open up about this season’s Supermodel of the Year and give a sneak peek into his fitness routine and style, and what keeps him looking younger by the day.

Excerpts from the interview:

In the promo of Supermodel of the Year 2, you said age is just a number. How do you manage to stay so fit at 55?

Milind: I am sure that if anyone starts now, then at 55 they will also manage. This can actually be a great time to adopt certain habits and to prioritise your life, because health and fitness are important. Over a period of time, one can achieve any level of fitness that one wants. I’ve been doing it for the past 50 years. Ever since I was 6-7 years old, I started swimming and, for 50 years, I’ve been fit because I am consistent. Whether I have two minutes, 20 minutes or two hours, I’ll do something that is challenging. It’s not about how fast you are or how much weight you’re losing. The key is to keep moving. Laziness is a part of human nature and it is not wrong. A person should conserve their energy for important things. And exercise is one of the important things in life. Most people waste their energy and end up not exercising.

Be #UnapologeticallyYou is the theme for Supermodel of the Year 2 this time. How does this theme resonate with you?

Milind: I have never actually been the one to get influenced by people. For example, when I started modelling, I didn’t even know that modelling was a profession. I just did it because they were paying me money. My grandparents were doctors, my father was a scientist and my mother was a teacher of biochemistry. Coming from that background, people used to judge me and say, “Look at your parents, look at your grandparents. What are you doing?” Well, I thought it would be fun and I did it. There are many things in life I’ve done solely because I believe in them. I have heard a lot of people say, “Iss umar mein kya chal raha hai (What is going on at this age).” What is “iss umar mein”?

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc all over the world. How did it affect the shooting of the show?

Milind: Covid-19 did affect the shooting of the show. Last year nothing was allowed. We basically just had to wait for permission and when we had it, we resumed shooting.

How is this season different from Season 1? Are the tasks going to be more rigorous?

Milind: I think the biggest difference is the participants. Every year we get different participants with different attitudes, beliefs and dreams. For me, that’s what makes a show different. Of course, certain things are different this season. However, what the models are required to do is generally the same thing. It all depends on self-belief and going after what you want #Unapologetically. It is so heartening to see more participants coming from extremely remote areas and diverse backgrounds. Supermodel of the Year has become a huge platform to showcase this diversity.

Milind Soman, Malaika Arora, Anusha Dandekar posing for the camera

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You posted on Instagram about the 500K Step Challenge. It’s a very thoughtful initiative. What’s the idea behind it?

Milind: The idea behind it is again health, fitness and a zeal for life. I started running 20 years ago and I thought it would be great to see people of our country take this up as well. But, running sometimes intimidates people. They have questions like, “Am I too old to start running?”, “Should women run?” or “Will I get injured?” So, I thought the easiest way to get people to start would be by walking. There are a ton of people who walk and actually love to walk. Unfortunately, there are also many who don’t as they think that it is not benefitting them. People need to understand that any movement focussed on oneself is going to benefit them in one way or another.

Mahatma Gandhi has always been an inspiration, and we did an approximate calculation of the distance travelled on Dandi March and we deduced that Gandhiji would have walked 500,000 steps in just 22 days! So, if you match that in 165 days, it will still make a huge difference to your health and fitness. Moreover, fitness is about how the mind and the body work in tandem. It is about how you can impact your own life in a positive way. The life you have chosen for yourself, are you fit for that life? You should always be able to live a happy, healthy and positive life, and I wish that for everyone, no matter who you are.

Supermodel of the Year 2 premieres on August 22, 7pm every Sunday on MTV.

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