Milind Soman Image Credit: IANS

While most celebrities spend hours at the gym to get in shape, model-turned-actor Milind Soman has a different approach.

“I have never liked going to the gym. I like the outdoors. I like to run. In gym I feel restricted. When I exercise in open, it gives me a certain freedom and pushes me to do more,” he said.

“It does not mean I am against gymming. It depends upon person to person. Some people are very much comfortable working out in gyms. Basically, it is all about movement. If you are comfortable moving in a gym, that is absolutely fine. But gymming does not work for me. I don’t like carrying those weights and doing workouts on those heavy machines,” Soman, an avid runner, said.

The 53-year-old successfully completed the Ironman Triathlon in 2015 and later finished the Florida Ultraman 2017 challenge, which involved 423km of cycling, a 10km swim and an 84km ultra-marathon. Incidentally, he won the challenge by participating barefoot.

“[Running barefoot] increases my efficiency as a runner. It helps me to maintain proper balance and coordination, and it feels great when my feet touch the ground,” he said.

Soman is also a co-founder of Pinkathon, an Indian women-only marathon. He is now all set to come up with the seventh edition of the marathon in Delhi on September 8.

According to him, women play a vital role in developing a culture of sport and fitness.

“It is very important for women to stay fit. They rule our world. They rule our family. If they won’t be healthy, then it will affect all of us. However, health is never their priority. They will do everything to keep their family members healthy but neglect their own health. With Pinkathon, we try to create awareness among women about fitness, and to make them understand the importance of a healthy body,” Soman added.

However, he feels cultural factors have restricted them from participating in marathons and other fitness events.

“There are thousands of women in our country who are not able to work out or run in the open owing to cultural reasons or societal pressure. Things have changed but we still have a long way to go,” Soman said, hoping to see more participation from women in marathons.