Working out since he was 18 years old has done wonders for Tamil actor Sarathkumar. The 67-year-old Kollywood veteran who starred in hits like Muni 2: Kanchana and Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India is giving #fitnessgoals to the youth who are one-third his age. This after he bounced back to work barely five days after a complicated cartilage surgery.
He had suffered injuries during the shooting of Mani Rathnam’s magnum opus Ponniyin Selvan in Puducherry. While, injuries are part of any action star’s life, the fact that he resumed work in less than a week from such an operation has created a buzz in the fitness and movie circuit. The average recovery time for even a fit patient is typically five weeks.
How did he pull it off? “Our overall fitness quotient is a bit like rainy day savings. It comes in handy when you need it the most. You can’t build it overnight. It is a slow process,” he says. When he was 20, he won the Mr Madras University title for his fitness levels. Sarath quips, “I have always been so fit that ‘falling and getting up’ literally and figuratively has never affected me.”
Sarathkumar says he also took up his recovery in a sensible, step-by-step manner. “First, I told myself that I am a fit person but with a small aberration. The fitness enthusiast in me helped me counsel myself. I am a producer and I convinced myself that my rest and recovery were crucial, otherwise we would lose a lot of money and time in rescheduling. Then the spiritual person in me gave me the willpower to numb my physical pain,” he explains.
He even managed to complete a fight sequence for a web series where he did not use a body double for some of stunts. “However, I do not advise anyone to get back to work within a week, unless they’re as fit as me.”The actor has a non-stop schedule where he is flying in and out of Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gwalior, Orchha, Madurai and Chennai. He is also working on a Telugu movie, a web series in-home production and a Tamil two-part movie. Sarath’s video with Telugu actor Vishnu Manchu in which he shared fitness hacks went viral earlier this year, marking his position as a fitness icon. Fighting fit at 67, indeed.
His fitness mantra
Don’ts: Smoke, drink, binge diet or worry about things not in your control
Dos: Do what your body requires. “I needed upper bodybuilding so I did 50 lunges, sit-ups and squats with my trainer. I have a physiotherapist who helps me stay mobile. I had put on four kilos as I could not walk on the treadmill or run. But I can keep a check on my weight by tweaking my diet.”
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