Athlete of the Week: Saina Nehwal [Interview]
Badminton is a sport that requires strong muscular strength, high endurance and extreme levels of fitness. Saina Nehwal has all this and more. Saina’s persistence and determination has a fan in me and I am sure in many other Indians. We caught up with India's greatest Badminton star and found out just a few of her fitness secrets. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
It is the sum total of your body. One of the most essential ingredients in your heath is to remain free from any pains and ailments. I believe in living a happy, cheerful life and fitness is a very important aspect of my health.
I perform a routine of exercises and practice schedules as given by my coaches and physiotherapists. My fitness routine consists of endurance, agility and skill exercises. I perform a lot of weights. Also I run a lot. It is my daily routine to sprint, jump and hop for 65 minutes in a day. In the same breath, I would like to mention the importance of breaks during my severe fitness routine. Badminton as it is, is a very intense sport, and after my tournaments I make it a point to rest in between, for say one week.
On Mental Fitness:
Mental fitness is extremely important in any kind of competitive sport; as they say where there is will, there is a way. I perform yoga along with the audio routine recorded in my phone for at least two sessions in a day. I think that only a mentally fit person can fight for every point and square inch of court space.
On Dietary Routine:
I eat in small quantities for three times in a day. I rely on loads of juices, seasonal fruits, few vitamins and calcium substitutes and lots of milk and curd.
I credit my fitness level and training skills to my coaches and physiotherapists who know how to make me work that extra bit. I religiously follow their tips and that’s what keeps me going.
Fortunately, injuries haven’t been a very vital part of my career as yet. I think this is because of my strong and fit genes. Both my parents have been former state badminton champions of Haryana and have always believed in leading a fit and healthy life. My basics have always been good and I have had professional coaches training from a young age. Also, I play only singles which helps a lot, I think.
Fitness advice for our readers:
Irrespective of your age, it is essential to exercise, for each and every individual, for atleast 30 minutes on a daily basis. It will keep you fresh through the day and also give you the strength to fight off illnesses. Another tip I would like to give is to follow a disciplined lifestyle. Discipline is necessary to incorporate into our lives if we want to keep fit.
*Image courtesy: © Reuters