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Captain Fantastic: Sunil Chhetri on wellness and staying fit in a pandemic

How did the captain of the Indian football team keep fit during the lockdown? Sunil Chhetri let us in on his fitness and wellness regimen.

‘Captain Fantastic’, Chhetri currently holds the record for scoring the second-highest number of goals (after Cristiano Ronaldo) in international matches among active male players . Making the country proud with every stride and being a fitness icon for millions, Chhetri also recently became the face of French label Celio’s new brand campaign for their menswear collection. We caught up with him to know more about the collaboration, his stay-at-home fitness routine, and how he kept cool during this lockdown.

Sunil Chhetri on style, fitness, and wellness —

Sunil Chhetri

Tell us about your association with Celio

I am delighted to be associated with a brand that I absolutely love. Celio has been part of my wardrobe for as long as I can remember. For me, fashion needs to be comfortable yet trendy, and that’s exactly what Celio offers.

What are your top picks for this winter season?

Nothing beats a pair of smart, dark denims; some classy full-sleeved, fitted sweaters; and a smart pair of boots.

How have you managed to stay fit during the lockdown? How has your fitness regime changed during this time?

We’ve all had to adapt with no access to a gym or a field, but I spent enough time with some basic weights and exercise bands. It was all about ensuring that I get down to doing some form of exercise. 

What kind of diet have you stuck to during the lockdown?

I didn’t really have to make a big switch during the lockdown when it came to my diet. It is something I am rather particular about, and fortunately, all essentials were available without much difficulty, so I didn’t struggle on that front.

Sunil Chhetri

Your go-to fitness tips

Quality over quantity. Make progress every day, even if it is a little. Don’t underestimate the importance of good rest.

Fitness mistakes you have learnt from?

It’s not about how much you do, it’s about how well you do it.

Do you have a home gym – what equipment does it consist of?

I wouldn’t call it a gym, but I have enough equipment to get in a good workout. A few basic weights and exercise bands. More importantly, I have a little deck as part of my home and a football, just in case I’m missing the pitch!

What sort of workouts have worked best for you?

A lot of my workouts are football-oriented, strengthening aspects that help improve my game. I mix things up though to keep it interesting and challenging at the same time. To be honest, I enjoy anything that challenges me while being useful to my craft.


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A post shared by Sunil Chhetri (@chetri_sunil11) on Oct 7, 2020 at 10:28pm PDT

What do you follow for overall wellness?

Just good habits – eating clean, reading, maintaining my schedules with workouts, resting well and on time.

One thing that has kept you grounded during this time?

The desire to be mentally and physically healthy and ready when the football season arrives — that’s what kept me going. It has been a longer wait than all of us would have liked, but we’re here now. The Indian Super League is slated to begin in November.

How do you think football as a sport will change after the pandemic?

I think both – we players and the fans — will value each other’s presence at stadiums much more than we already do! The sport just isn’t the same without fans in attendance. I also hope more fans realise what live sport brings to their lives and that we see packed stadiums once the pandemic is over.

All images: Courtesy brand

Mikhail Gomes
Features Editor, Lifestyle Asia India & Contributor - Augustman
A watch aficionado, Mikhail also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.