Stress Buster

Restless Fighter

Why Nadia Chauhan Kurup of Parle Agro prefers kickboxing over yoga to beat the blues

Soumik Kar


Whether it is the apparent look of a fit person or the jar of dry fruits on her office desk, it is hard to say. But, you can tell almost instantly that Nadia Chauhan Kurup, the joint MD and chief marketing officer of Parle Agro is not the one who sits at the desk for long hours. 

Like the rest of her family and two siblings, Chauhan was raised with the inherent love for horses and horse-riding. The annual visits to Matheran ensured that she took to horse-riding quickly and often imagined herself to be the veterinarian of the family.

She says, “If I knew we were going to Matheran, I would be up before everyone else and push the rest to get ready for the trip. I loved heading there as a child.” But, after the birth of her daughter, she hasn’t had her shot at the saddle for the past seven to eight years. 

The birth of her first child has also changed her focus to her fitness regime. She explains, “I started hitting the gym and underwent a strict fitness regime under Zareen Watson, which changed my life. To this day, though I don’t train under her, I have stuck to some of the pointers that I picked up from the programme and apply them to my routine; whether it is the rule of not having carbs after 2.30 pm, picking dry fruits or berries for snacks as they are superfoods or sticking to a high-protein diet — I have tried my best to make the change in my lifestyle and it has worked.”

A self-proclaimed perfectionist, Chauhan is not the one to silently take instructions either. “I prepare charts regarding my goals and targets for a certain period of time and ensure that my trainer knows what we’re working towards at all times. I had to take a break during my second pregnancy, but I got back on track as soon as I could and I am almost close to achieving my first set of goals already,” she beams like a proud school child. 

Kick-boxing came to her soon after she began working out at Gold’s Gym in Bandra. She recalls, “I saw someone kick-boxing at the gym and I was intrigued. It is a powerful and strong sport as opposed to something like yoga. I don’t see myself doing yoga because I am constantly restless.” Her current routine includes cardio, weight training and kick-boxing. Chauhan ensures that she works out at least thrice a week for an hour each, usually post-work either at the gym in her office or at home. 

As someone who is constantly battling stress, she says that the best part of her day is during the workout session. “When I have a particularly good round of boxing, my trainer asks me if I’ve had a bad day at work,” she laughs. On a more serious note, she continues, “I need that release for the body and the workout refreshes me. Not just my body, but also the mind. The days that I don’t workout, I feel terrible.”

Her workouts are intense and involve all her focus, just as her work does. “When I am done for the day, I just workout for an hour with nothing on my mind. The fast pace of kick-boxing ensures that I am completely absorbed. I like to practice with minimum disturbance, with just some music playing in the background at most.”

Besides this, Chauhan maintains her fitness by utilising her weekends to go on trekking with her kids or swimming for at least two to three hours everyday. While her aspiration to be a veterinarian remains unfulfilled, she doesn’t stand much to lose. At the helm of one of the top consumer companies in the country, she is pretty sure to get herself back on the saddle along with her little ones. Till then, she’s kicking the stress away, one workout at a time.