Most notable for his role in drama serial Bashar Momin, actor and host Faysal Qureshi needs no introduction. Currently hosting a morning show on a local TV channel and playing the protagonist in ongoing drama serial Waada, Qureshi is an actor with astonishing range and someone who remains an integral part of Pakistani television for over two decades.
With nearly 100 TV plays to his credit, his contribution to the small screen is both commendable and diverse. Apart from TV plays, he has also starred in a number of telefilms and big screen ventures. His most recent effort (in the latter department) includes a starring role in Khalid Ahmed’s Laloo Lal dot Com – made under Zeal for Unity initiative – and one that marks his comeback to the big screen after nearly a decade.
Moving past his many accomplishments, it is also palpable that Qureshi at 42 looks fitter than ever. This fit interior-exterior, however, is never attained easily and Qureshi is no exception.
In a conversation with Instep, the actor explained how he manages to stay fit as he grows older and what motivates him to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“I was never a health freak until I stepped into showbiz; it requires one to look fit on screen,” he told Instep. “I try to prioritize my fitness as much as possible and have set certain goals as well that I plan to achieve in the coming months.”
Qureshi is of the belief that one needs to invest in their health and be sure of what they are treating their bodies with, especially given the hectic routines of the modern age. “I’m 42 and I keep working on my health not just because I am an actor but due to the fact that I have a lot to do in a day (morning show, shootings, meetings and family time). If I don’t take care of my body and its requirements, I won’t be able to work throughout the day. Therefore, it is essential to take out at least an hour for exercise each day and keep a check on what foods you are consuming.”
It is important to develop eating habits that suit one’s nutritional requirements and help them stay active. While it may not always be an easy task to follow a balanced diet, one must always focus on eating healthy. Qureshi, who makes sure he eats healthy, shares that fruits, vegetables, eggs and fish are some of the food items that dominate his diet. He prefers eating raw fruit compared to juices since they have higher concentration of sugar. “Sometimes when I want to increase the sugar content in my body, I opt for juices,” he shared. “Other than that, I also take in multi-vitamins, which are very important given my tough routine and the kind of weather I experience living in Karachi these days.”
One major aspect of healthy living is having a work out routine. While a balanced diet prevents us from gaining extra pounds, a proper exercise plan helps one remain in shape for longer periods. When it comes to working out, Qureshi is of the view that one must indulge in a variety of exercises. “When you keep changing the way you exercise, your body responds better,” he asserted. “If you follow the same workout routine for a long time, your body becomes immune to it and the results aren’t satisfactory. My activities include weight training (thrice a week), cross-fit workouts (twice a week), kickboxing – that I do once a week – and dance practices somewhere in between. You can’t just rely on brisk walking; you need to incorporate multiple activities in your exercise plan.” He also revealed that he has a personal trainer, Fahad, to guide him through his workout plan.
All else will fail if one is not at peace within his mind. No matter how much you work out or eat healthy, at the end of the day what matters most is mental stability and the ability to stay sane. Discussing why it is important to have mental peace, Qureshi told Instep: “If you don’t pay attention to your mental health, your physical health will suffer. Mental peace is very important while exercising since it requires you to be focused. If you are distracted and not at peace within, you’ll lose focus and get tired after a few minutes of work-out but if you’re relaxed, you’ll be able to increase the duration to over an hour.”
According to Qureshi, a person’s social circle can serve as one of the biggest motivations to sustain healthy living. In that respect, Qureshi explains how others motivate him to stay fit.
“My very dear friend Aijaz Aslam as well as Najaf Bilgrami have inspired me in this regard and whenever we meet we have a discussion over the subject,” said Qureshi. “Apart from them, Naveed Raza and Asim Azhar, who are both friends, are incredibly fit and we all have initiated a campaign in which we motivate all of our friends to lead a healthy life.”
Piece of Advice
“Be it men or women, I’d love to say that instead of wasting time in gossip or other useless activities, one should focus on staying fit and healthy. If you exercise, you naturally become conscious of what foods you consume and this saves you from a lot of illnesses. I am 42 but I don’t remember the last time I fell seriously ill in the last few years just because I pay a lot of attention to my health. I’d conclude with this: ‘stay fit, live fit and stay happy’.”