"Fitness is an integral part of my life and it's not limited to working out," says Malaika Arora Khan.
Malaika has learnt dancing since the age of four - Russian ballet, Jazz ballet and Bharat Natyam. Dance, she believes has been the starting point of her awareness towards fitness.
And combined with work-outs under the guidance of her trainer has helped Malaika retain her great shape even after the birth of her son a year ago.
"I try to go to the gym at least thrice a week for an hour-and-a-half. My form of exercising varies from kick-boxing to aerobics to hip-hop which ensures that I exercise different body parts each time," she says.
Malaika believes in eating healthy, and is totally against dieting. "I'm not rigid but I'm very particular that I eat right. I don't have much of a tendency to gain weight but like most Indian women, I tend to be hip heavy.
As a rule, I avoid red meat, fried and oily food. I don't binge, I eat three proper meals in the day and I hate snacking, which I believe is a killer for your body. But I don't deprive myself of anything that I crave - eat and burn it off is what I believe in. And fortunately, I have no vices like smoking and drinking."
Malaika firmly believes that mind-body fitness happens in conjunction and only when the two are balanced can one experience optimum health. "If I'm stressed out, it reflects on my looks - my skin, my hair.
Likewise, when I'm feeling good, there's a spring in my step and everything seems good. I'm a very up and about person who tends to get bothered if things are not done right but I'm trying to be more tolerant," she says. Her best stress-buster she reveals is "cleaning the house which I find truly therapeutic."
"I believe that to look good, you must have a healthy skin and for that, the age old recipe of loads of water is what I believe in. First thing I do in the morning even before drinking tea or coffee is to drink warm water with lime and honey. I follow this up with literally a liter of water and then start my day. I don't smoke or drink, so these things are naturally excluded from my diet.
I believe that water flushes out all the toxins we accumulate throughout the day. The kind of lifestyle we lead, eating fast food and also frequently eating out is harmful. So water is the first medicine I use. Then come all the cleansers, moisturizers, skin globs etc. I use these but what I follow strictly is exercise, healthy eating and keeping my skin very clean. Last thing before going to bed, I wash my face with Margo soap. It's a neem soap, mild and very good for the skin. Then I drink a glass of warm water and go to bed. My skin is very oily so I moisturize it with an oil-free moisturizer after washing it lightly."
“Yoga keeps me fit. I think if you are in a healthy state of mind, then you are also physically fit. So, for that I think Yoga is the best exercise. I do several yoga exercises for every part of my body. Besides that I believe that if you look at something beautiful and natural like green surroundings or the aquarium for that matter, it's very healthy.”
"In cosmetics I use a lot of moisturizers, mascara and kohl pencil. Other make-up is minimal, I believe that one should highlight the attractive aspects of one's face. I have high cheekbones so I highlight these with a blusher, to achieve a sun-kissed, flushed, healthy look. I use cosmetics by Body Shop or Mac because these shades suit the Indian skin."