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Pooja Hegde: Charting her own path

It was the year 2014, when actress Pooja Hegde caught the audience’s attention with the film Oka Laila Kosam opposite Naga Chaitanya. She soon followed it up with a Bollywood debut opposite Hrithik Roshan in Mohenjo Daro set against the backdrop of the Indus Valley civilisation.

Her foray into fitness however happened a little earlier when she entered the fashion industry. “I was skinny but not flexible. I wasn’t even able to touch my toes before workouts,” says the actress who now sticks to a regular fitness regime comprising of Pilates, calisthenics and kick-boxing with circuit and interval training everyday. “I give myself a day off on Sunday,” adds Pooja.

As an actress who has varying travel schedules, she prefers to carry her own gym equipment along with her. “I carry ankle weights with me so I can do various workouts. I don’t miss my exercises no matter where I am. I do my own leg workouts like squats and lunges, something that you can do on the move. Circuit training and Pilates also help as it involves using my own body weight to exercise,” says Pooja who hits the gym early in the morning or after a shoot. It’s quite a change from her earlier routine which usually meant skipping her daily fitness activities, but now she sticks to her schedule and keeps her to-do list empty.

Pooja HegdeIn a way, she is thankful for getting into the industry as it made her realise the importance of health and fitness. “Practicing something deliberately for 21 days becomes a habit and I have been doing it for a year now. It has created a culture in me,” says Pooja who can easily pull off a split now.

Unknown to many, Pooja is a trained classical dancer who learnt Bharatanatyam for ten years. But as a skinny child, her classmates and friends often teased her.

“Even my Bharatanatyam teacher used to force me to eat well so that for I look like a human being draped in a saree and not like a stick dancing in a saree during my Arangetram.” Over the years, she has also learnt salsa, jive and waltz. “Find what interests you and start learning it. You don’t have to join a gym and workout for hours together to be fit. If dance interests you, do that. Have fun and be healthy,” advises Pooja who follows the same philosophy when it comes to her diet.

As someone who can’t control her cravings and ends up over eating when she curbs herself, she eats a balanced diet rich in all nutrients.

“I have six small meals which includes dal, sabji with roti/rice. Being a South Indian, I need rice in my meals. I find home cooked food is much healthier. A nutritionist also helps me with my dietary requirements sometimes,” says Pooja.

The post Pooja Hegde: Charting her own path appeared first on Telangana Today.

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