EXERCISE

Deepika Padukone: “I Admire People for Whom Fitness is a Lifestyle”

Deepika Padukone: “I Admire People for Whom Fitness is a Lifestyle”

Photo: Instagram/@shaleenanathani
As an actor, Deepika Padukone has achieved remarkable success, with national and international awards to her name. And as the daughter of a professional badminton player, athleticism runs in her blood. It shone through when she played the sport competitively growing up, and it remains perceptible to this day in her endeavors. Further proof comes via her recently announced partnership with Adidas. Teaming up with the sportswear giant as its brand ambassador, the Indian star and mental health advocate aims to further her and the label’s common goal of encouraging women to believe that “impossible is nothing.”
After keeping the collaboration under wraps for weeks before its surprise reveal, there was only one thing left to do for Padukone: Take it all in at the brand’s first flagship store in the Middle East, in Dubai. For the star, the emirate is a “home away from home.” The Chhapaak actor arrived at The Dubai Mall, commanding attention and nailing athleisure in a bright red and pink tracksuit, with the sleeves rolled up and a jacket casually tied around her waist. While to most, the obvious footwear choice for a tracksuit worn for an early morning appearance at the world’s largest mall would be sneakers, Padukone opted for a pair of high heels, with one red and one pink on each foot.
Vogue Arabia sat down with the star to discuss everything from the partnership, and sports as a part of her life, to how the conversation on mental health needs to change, and her advice to aspiring sportswomen.
Photo: Courtesy of Adidas
Vogue Arabia: How has playing sports shaped you as a person and as an actor?
Deepika Padukone: It’s played a huge role in the person I am today—the way I conduct my life, and the way I think. It’s taught me how to handle success and failure, how to be competitive in the right spirit. It has also prepared me for life, and I feel like no other experience in life would have trained me or taught me the values that sports have taught me.
What are some of the best life lessons you learned playing sports?
It teaches you so much, and I think I was fortunate to have participated in individual sports as well as team sports. It’s taught me everything from team spirit, handling success and failure, and how not to be impulsive, to the ability to analyze if you performed well: To take a step back, and analyze what you did right or what hasn’t gone well, and reflect, “What could I have done differently?” The list is endless: it’s patience, perseverance, dedication, and determination. I always say that I think only an athlete knows what the life of an athlete is like, and the values that it teaches you. I can say it in words but I think that feeling for me comes from my gut and there’s only that much I can put in words.
What brought about this partnership with Adidas?
When they reached out, I was more than happy to come on board because we all know Adidas is an iconic brand. Also for me, it seems like a natural extension of my personality because I’ve been an athlete. I conduct my everyday life like an athlete, and I think like one, so for me to associate with a brand that has similar values was a natural fit. I’m glad they think that I’m someone who embodies everything that they believe in and everything that they stand for and in the last couple of weeks ever since we’ve announced this association, keeping it under wraps was very very hard. But ever since we made this announcement, I think people are quite excited.
Photo: Courtesy of Adidas
How do you think the conversation on mental health has changed since you opened up about yours?
I think it has changed a lot. Honestly, I give credit to the people for being so open in terms of embracing it, accepting it, empathizing with my journey, and wanting to bring about change when it comes to mental health. Especially in India, where nobody spoke about mental health until I did, unfortunately. In the last five years, we have seen the country celebrating World Mental Health Day, and everyone talking about mental health in living rooms, and in the media you see celebrities being more open about their own experience. This is why I think we have come a long long way.
What more needs to change?
I think we still have a long way to go. Especially if we compare ourselves to Australia, for example, or to the UK and US where I think the conversation today is far more developed. But I certainly see ourselves geared up and headed in that direction as far as the openness to seek help goes, and I think the stigma has also reduced quite a bit.
What advice would you give to aspiring sportswomen?
Well, I think if you’re a sportswoman, I’d say you have already chosen the right profession. You are on a journey where you are going to learn some of your best life lessons, and patience. I think patience is also one of the things that sports have taught me. I realize this when I see today’s generation, compounded with social media, where you want instant gratification and everything has to happen now. I think sport teaches you to wait for good things, and that you have to work hard for them. Especially if you want to leave behind a legacy, and achieve something that’s permanent. Otherwise, I think one day will be up the next day would be down. I think if you really want to go up the ladder the right way, hard work and perseverance combined with patience is the key.

What stands out to you about women in the region?
I think their spirit and sense of joy. That is something I’ve been able to see even while just walking around. I think there’s a certain spirit in everyone. I’m unable to articulate what that is but it definitely embodies strength and determination.
Who is your ultimate fitness inspiration?
I can’t think of one person, but I admire people who are more disciplined and I think that comes at any age. I know people who are 13 years old and who are 75 years old that are extremely disciplined. When I say discipline, I don’t mean to say that you don’t enjoy your life. I think there are some people who take it to an all-new extreme, and I’m sure it works for them. But I think a subtle amount of discipline is what encompasses fitness. Whether it is being disciplined in your nutrition, sleep, exercise, or your mental health, I think, for me, that is fitness. I see a lot of people in the gym who have amazing bodies, and spend extra hours in the gym. I think all of that is great, but are you truly fit? I think only an athlete understands the value of true fitness. It is not just one aspect, it’s a lifestyle, and think I admire people who live by the same.
Now that you are able to travel once again, what are the fitness essentials you always have in your suitcase?
I think, to begin with, considering I come from the land of yoga, the biggest advantage is that you don’t have to carry anything with you when you can do it absolutely anywhere. I can be in my hotel room and do a couple of asanas or a workout. Currently, the phase that I am going through is, of course, a beautiful yoga phase. I also think a pair of great running or walking shoes are essential when you are traveling. That’s the easiest thing to do—you just throw in a pair of shoes, and also now with this whole athleisure trend, it’s multipurpose. I can wake up in the morning, and go for a walk or for a run, and I can wear the same pair of shoes and walk around in the mall, and in the same pair of shoes go to a restaurant. That’s what makes it functional but at the same time fashionable, and also practical when you’re traveling.
Read Next: Behind the Iconic adidas Superstar Uniting the Inspiring Arab Female Changemakers

Dior’s New Unexpected Collaboration is Designed to Keep You Fit in Style

Dior’s New Unexpected Collaboration is Designed to Keep You Fit in Style

Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior
In an unexpected yet exciting partnership, Dior and Technogym have joined forces on a line of limited edition home fitness products. The first of its kind collection includes a treadmill, a wellness ball, and a multifunction bench, all emblazoned with the unmistakable Christian Dior logo.
The partnership follows the unveiling of the Dior Vibe line, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s take on sportswear unveiled at the 2022 Cruise show, along with the special Dior Vibe sneaker. The Cruise show featured unique perspectives on athletic clothing items by infusing them with craftsmanship typical to the couture world.
The Dior and Technogym Limited Edition Series. Photo: Courtesy of Christian Dior
The treadmill named the Technogym My Run for Dior can connect to the user’s tablet and offers various on-demand running and walking workouts. Users can opt for any on-demand workout of their choice by placing the tablet on the MyRun console. The second product, known as the Technogym Ball for Dior is not only a seat but also promotes wellness by providing a complete exercise program for flexibility, toning and balance. Meanwhile, the Technogym Bench for Dior, complete with a unique design as well as an addition of dumbbells, elastics, and knuckles, offers over 200 exercises with help of the Technogym App.
Nerio Alessandri, founder of Technogym and Wellness Designer said, “This shared goal of excellence gives life to a limited series of innovative Technogym products interpreted with the Maison Dior’s unique allure. Created to inspire the concept of wellness with new generations, it also offers people the opportunity to live a unique and irresistible experience.”
The equipment has been produced in Italy at the Technogym Village and the collection will be exclusively available in Dior boutiques worldwide from January 2022.
Read Next: Vaccinated Dubai Residents Can Now Access These Gyms for Free

Why adidas’s New Full-Cover Swimwear Collection Offers a Lot More Than Modesty

Why adidas’s New Full-Cover Swimwear Collection Offers a Lot More Than Modesty

Asma Elbadawi. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
adidas has unveiled its first full-cover swimwear collection offering a wider choice of versatile apparel for women. The range is designed to support the needs of those who find limited choice in swimwear and is informed – via community engagement and global insights – by those who expressed a need for full-coverage swimwear for cultural reasons, or those just looking for greater choice via a broader range of technical apparel to suit their needs in the water.
This is a collection especially needed for Middle Eastern women. A YouGov survey commissioned by adidas this year reveals that only 12% of women surveyed are completely comfortable wearing a swimsuit at a public beach or pool. Body shame and lack of privacy are the two main reasons women do not feel comfortable in their swimsuits. Additionally, 59% of women aged 18-42 surveyed in the UAE agree or strongly agree that the “media creates an unattainable body image for female swimmers.”
Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“At adidas we believe that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water. We are constantly looking at ways to diversify our product offering for all women and our Full-Cover Swimwear Collection is rooted in that mentality,” says Sybille Baumann, Senior Product Manager of adidas Swimwear.
Hence, the multi-piece collection includes swimsuits that offer coverage from neck to ankle. This piece features press studs inside the top at hip height and along the outside of the fabric on the legs to connect the two and offer an adjustable fit as required, preventing unnecessary movement of material in and out of the water. It also features thumb holes in the sleeves for optimized fit. In addition, singlets with sleeves, and a swim hijab featuring a specially crafted adjustable inner cap to provide the perfect fit and to prevent it from slipping while swimming complete the collection.
The quick-drying range is made of chlorine-resistant fabric that features Econyl® regenerated yarn as part of adidas’s ongoing commitment towards sustainable design.

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The Beyond the Surface campaign, part of Watch Us Move – adidas’s broader initiative to create more space for women in sport – celebrates the power of water and its ability to defy restrictions, bring renewal, and accept everyone unconditionally. It is fronted by Sudanese-British Asma Elbadawi, basketball athlete, spoken-word poet, and sport inclusivity activist, who created a poem to celebrate her relationship with the water and the confidence it can bring to all women. She is known to have petitioned and succeeded in convincing the International Basketball Association to remove its ban on hijabs and religious headwear in the professional sport.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
“Sport never judges you, that is why we love it, and I am passionate about finding ways to ensure we can provide a level playing field for all,” Elbadawi says. “Sadly, that is not always possible, but gone are the days where sport apparel needs should be a barrier to entry, especially when it comes to being in and around the water. This is a project that is close to my heart, and I am incredibly proud to support a campaign that will remove barriers for women across the world to enjoy swimming.”
Elbadawi will feature in the campaign alongside Lebanese amputee athlete Dareen Barbar, Liuba Novikova, Queen Owie, and Tracey Massoud.
Dareen Barbar. Photo: Courtesy of adidas
The 18-strong piece collection will be available from June 10, 2021, on adidas.com, in black, aqua blue, and burgundy red in sizes 2XS to 2XL. Each item is sold separately and can be combined into one look or used as individual items.
Read Next: The Future of Sport is Her as adidas Puts Women at its Core

Consider Trips to the Shops a Breeze Thanks to Nike’s New “Hands-Free” Trainers

Consider Trips to the Shops a Breeze Thanks to Nike’s New “Hands-Free” Trainers

Courtesy of Nike

For those trips to the shops and walks around the park, there’s a new trainer in town and it’s here to spice things up a bit. Nike’s new GO FlyEase (£ 104.95, available from 15 February) is a “hands-free” trainer that means you no longer have to worry about tying up your shoelaces – rather, just slip on and go.
Courtesy of Nike

Aimed at anyone who lives an on-the-go lifestyle, the Go FlyEase also makes life a lot easier for everyone from expectant mothers in the late stages of pregnancy to those with disabilities: “For some, these shoes are simply easier to put on,” says Kathy Gomez, Nike vice president’s of NXT footwear. “But for others, they are the reason it’s possible.” David Wagner, a wheelchair tennis athlete, will be wearing the trainers to compete in the Australian Open later this month.
To create a shoe that genuinely doesn’t need to be pulled on or off (all you have to do is slip your foot in, and exit the shoe by using the opposite foot against the heel) Nike created a bi-stable hinge that “keeps the shoe securely open upon entry and exit and closed when in use”, explains Gomez. The beauty of it is that it works with human intuition, making getting your shoe on and off, using just your feet, a breeze.
Courtesy of Nike

Starting as little more than a Nike “internal competition” to find a completely hands-free shoe, the new trainer has been five years in the making, and its birth has uncovered technology that might well be used for high-performance trainers in future: “The initial winning prototype [of the competition] was a modified Nike Roshe [trainer] split down the middle, but it sparked a larger idea that a dedicated team of people has been working to refine ever since. Ultimately, this patent-pending shoe reinvents how you put on and take off your shoes, which is no small feat,” says Gomez.
As you might expect from a Nike trainer, they’re ultra comfortable too. With a “diving board” design, the footbed is cushiony soft and envelopes your foot when you slide into it. “We engineered pattern and materials to maintain a continuous footbed for comfort,” explains Gomez. “Our team were obsessed with comfort and convenience.”
Read Next: Exclusive: Haute Hijab Launches Sustainable Sports Collection
Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

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