A former Miss Sri Lanka Universe, model-turned-actress Jacqueline Fernandez made her Bollywood debut with Aladin where she shared screenspace with Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Riteish Deshmukh. Seen recently in Jaane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai, Jacqueline now has her hands full with a number of Bollywood and Tollywood (Tamil cinema) projects. Here the beauty tells us how keeping fit helps her achieve a balance between her personal and professional life.
Television shows, beauty pageants and now Bollywood, how important a role has fitness played in the way you look?
Fitness to me has always been about maintaining my weight and staying in shape. This is integral to not only those who are part of the glamour world but to everyone looking at leading a healthy life. So, be it something as simple as an hour's workout at the gym or jogging or cycling, or an hour's session of yoga, my day is incomplete without having indulged in some form of exercise.
Having said that, it also acts as a huge stress buster for me, helping me achieve that fine balance between my personal and professional life.
So what does the fitness regimen you follow now include?
While I used to be a gym person at one point, a while ago I moved onto doing yoga with my trainer Payal Gidwani. Since I had an already lean frame, it did wonders to the way I looked, in terms of lending an unprecedented glow and helping maintain my weight. I would do it every morning like brushing my teeth.
Although the workout format was full of variety, I followed the same routine for three days in a week. But now that I am training for the Mumbai marathon, I have incorporated running, cycling and swimming for stamina building into my fitness regimen again.
However, I've always believed the best way to lose weight is to just break into a sweat, be it in the gym or by jogging or by doing anything else you like. What is important is to get your heart into whatever you are doing. Dedication is the single most important factor, no matter what the fitness regimen.
And how do you ensure the dedication with the hectic schedules you keep?
It's all in the mind. I believe our bodies will do anything that we train them to do. If in my mind I know I have to work out next morning, my body will wake up at a time when it is finished with its quota of sleep automatically and push me out of bed.
But for that to happen, it's important to be completely comfortable with your body which I am. So, even if I'm doing late nights and early mornings, my body always finds the energy to work out, no matter how hectic my schedules.
How important a role does your diet play in looking good?
I believe giving your body the right dose of healthy carbs, good fats and medium proteins is key to a healthy life and pretty skin. I make sure there are a lot of natural fibres, vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, beans, grilled fish and chicken in my diet. I also totally avoid sugar, sticking to green tea rather than tea or coffee. However, I do satisfy my cravings once in a while to keep my happiness hormones flowing.
So the right diet translates to the translucent skin you have?
Eating right really did wonders to my skin. As a teen, I was plagued by acne. And what no cosmetics could do, my diet did. However, since my skin is always exposed to so much make-up, I'm also very particular about my cleansing, toning, moisturising routine. Every time I cleanse, I take a close look at the cotton ball to make sure there's no trace of make-up on it. I also don't change my cosmetics brand too often. Dermalogica products work well on me and I've been using them for years now.
Jacqueline has been training with yoga and fitness expert Payal Gidwani Tiwari for a while now. Payal, who is known to have trained actors like Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukerji, Sridevi and many more, told Prevention she hasn't seen anyone fitter than Jacqueline in a long time. "She's extremely fit, highly flexible and enjoys whatever she does. In keeping with this, I have designed a whole body workout for her including meditative postures, kriyas, pranayam and asanas with which she is able to maintain a happy weight and look good."
Age: 22, Weight: 50 kilos, Sessions: 1 hour, three days a week Target: To maintain weight and beauty. Jacqueline follows the same routine three days a week.
A basic warm up for 5 to 6 minutes
Suryanamaskar: 20 to 30 rounds
Vrikshasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left side, 2 sets
Tadasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left side, 2 sets
Trikonasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right
Shishpadangustanasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left side, 2 sets
Garudasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left side, 1 set
Utkatasana: hold for 30 seconds
Ardha Matsyendrasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left aside, 1 set
Paschimottasana: hold for 30 seconds, 2 sets
Akarna Dhanurasana: hold for 30 seconds on the right and left side, 1 set
Ustrasana: hold for 30 seconds, 2 sets
Supta Vajrasana: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Baddha Padmasana: hold for 30 seconds, 2 sets
Ardha Kapotasana: hold for 30 seconds on each leg
Shavasana: 2 minutes
Sarvanganasana: hold for 30 seconds, 2 sets
Saral Matsyasana: hold for 20 seconds, 2 sets
Poorna Halasana: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Sarpasana: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Poorna Shalabhasana: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Naukasana on the stomach: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Dhanurasana: hold for 30 seconds, 1 set
Makarsana: 1 minute
Brahma Mudra: 3 rounds
Kapalbhati Kriya: 50 strokes, 5 rounds
Bhastrika Pranayam: 3 to 5 rounds
Ujjayi Pranayam: 5 rounds
Anulom Vilom: 5 rounds
Bhramari: 5 rounds
Om chanting or any auspicious chant: 5 rounds
Shavasana: 2 minutes
Image source: Getty