At 42, Sonu has maintained a chiselled physique and follows a strict diet and workout regime.
“I started working out after watching ‘Rocky’. I wanted to be fit like Sylvester Stallone. Fitness is my life,” Sonu, who has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the Dabang Delhi Kabaddi Club (DDKC) of the Pro Kabaddi League, told IANS here.
Actors are often seen building up their body and working on their abs for movie projects. But Sonu feels that “making a fit body only for a film is not a big thing”.
“You have to keep that in you for life. We pass it to the next generation. I feel that fitness is something that can only be achieved over years… It’s not a one-day task,” he said, adding that if one is physically fit, they are mentally strong too.
The actor, who has featured in movies like “Dabangg” and “Happy New Year”, says it helps if celebrities promote a sport or fitness.
“Common public often has a tendency to follow celebrities considering them as their idols. When these sports are promoted by these stars, they somehow inspire and motivate them to get into this field,” said Sonu, who was an ardent cricket fan and used to even play kabaddi.
In fact, he said that he always wanted to represent India on the cricket field.
He rued how the present-day generation is more involved with indoor games nowadays rather than being outdoors, and said: “I am concerned about today’s generation who are completely involved in the games on playstations and smartphones. The outdoor games we played during our childhood are not played by them.
“It’s high time to provide awareness and shift them by bringing them into the field of outdoor sports like kabaddi and cricket.”
Sonu feels every person has the “jazbaa” (passion) of a sportsperson, and that platforms like Pro Kabaddi League, Celebrity Cricket League, Indian Super League and Indian Premier League are wonderful avenues for actors and film celebrities to explore their interest in sports. Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham are some examples.
Also, Sonu is more than willing to take up a role in a film based on kabaddi if he is approached for it.