Bhaichung Bhutia has expressed his belief that Indian athletes can match the fitness levels of their European counterparts. The former captain of the Indian football team made these comments while speaking at the Fit India Dialogue.
During the interaction hosted by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Bhutia noted that physical conditioning could be attained through hard work and maintaining a proper diet.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju hosted the second edition of Fit India Dialogue and interacted with sporting icons across the nation. Rijiju and the other panel members discussed how athletes are focused on maintaining physical fitness.
Bhaichung Bhutia, who recently celebrated his 44th birthday on December 15th, is considered the torchbearer of Indian football in the international arena. The Sikkim-born striker is the second-most capped Indian player with 82 international caps to his name.
Following his retirement in 2015, he has focused on maintaining his fitness and regularly shares glimpses of his workout sessions on his social media handles.
"I am currently in Sikkim. I don't train like I used to do during my playing days. I do cycling and mountain biking. My place is great for these sports. I also had to control my food habits. These things help me keep fit," said Bhutia.
Not much of a difference in fitness between Indians and foreigners: Bhaichung Bhutia
While speaking during the interaction, Bhutia maintained that the fitness levels of Indian athletes are not that far off from the foreigners.
"I think there is not much of a difference in fitness between Indians and foreigners. But there are differences in the physical build though. Fitness levels may fluctuate, but you can always work and get back to your best shape. Indians can match the fitness levels of Europeans with hard work," said Bhaichung Bhutia.
Following his retirement, Bhaichung Bhutia has been an inspiration for his fans as he shares various exercises on his social media handles. Bhutia also urged the people who don't want to become sportspersons to stay fit as it helps them live a healthy life.
"If you even don't become a professional sportsperson, even then you should try to remain fit as it will help you remain sharp," he concluded.