Milind Soman’s guide to staying fit and healthy

Trying to stay mentally and physically fit while staying at home has become challenging as the weeks go by. Our IRL workouts have been replaced by Zoom sessions, and the focus has shifted from mindful eating to immunity boosting foods—in short we’re all missing the serotonin boost induced by a balanced routine. Milind Soman, fitness icon and ambassador for Pinkathon (a marathon that focusses on women’s fitness) is here to remedy this quandary with a series of webinars called Transformation 2020. He will be hosting 4 talks around fitness, nutrition and mental health in times of COVID with experts from around the world. “There’s a big focus on immunity right now, but it’s only one of the systems of the body. For overall health we need to take care of all he systems, like sleep, nutrition and fitness,” he says about the inspiration behind the webinars. 

In our virtual edition of ELLE Masterclass, he chats with Mamta Mody, ELLE’s Beauty and Health Director about his cheat meals, diet plan and minimalistic exercising routine. Here are the top takeaways from their live chat:


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Keep it simple

When it comes to health and fitness, Milind has a minimalist approach. As a barefoot runner who most often advocates a no-equipment workout. He follows the same philosophy when it comes to nutrition as well. “Look for easily available, seasonal foods, and cut out packaged, processed foods,” he says. “You don’t need a diet to tell you what works for your body. Your mind and body will have an instant reaction to the food you eat, you need pay attention to how you feel after eating something.” He follows a simple diet of home-cooked meals. “Every morning I eat seasonal fruits, like a whole watermelon, mangoes—all together. My meals are rice, dal and any vegetables that are available,” he says.

Mind over muscle

Milind ran his first half marathon at the age of 38. He explains, “There were so many people who discouraged me from running. They said it would be bad for my health and I would injure myself. I did get affected by what they said, but I decided to continue to training. And I was surprised how easy it was for me to finish that marathon. It just goes to show that if you need to explore your potential and understand your body’s potential. You need to be determined and consistent to achieve your goals.”

Milind Soman
Image: Milind Soman

Pick achievable goals

It’s definitely more motivating to pick small, achievable fitness goals according to Milind. “Think of it like climbing stairs, and each goal is a step towards your long-term plan,” he says. “Giving yourself achievable challenges will also help you gain confidence.” So if your long-term goal is to run a marathon next year, start small by running 5k first. 

Practice micro workout

If you’re finding it tough to squeeze in your usual hour-long workout during the lockdown, Milind Soman recommends doing a shorter routines—he works out three minutes a day. “You don’t have to workout for hours to stay fit. No one has that kind of time, even I don’t have that much time. My daily workout includes, 1-minute of of plant, another minute of push-ups (do as many as you can), and then burpess in the third minute. I do about 25-30 in a minute.”

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