Meet Smita Biswas who lives, breathes, and does 100-kilometre walkathons in saris

If fitness is your first priority then fit wear is definitely going to the second as wearing the right gear is very important. But did you know that saris have also joined the fit brigade? No? Then read on!
Oxfam trailwalker
Smita Biswas trained in and has completed a 100km walk in sari and according to her sari is her fitmate.
Team Health Shots Updated: 5 Feb 2020, 18:27 pm IST
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Saris are considered to be one of the most sexiest attires. And the best part? It suits all body types. But apart from donning them for family functions, have you considered wearing them elsewhere? Maybe to work or on a date? Perhaps even while you’re training for a marathon. No, we aren’t kidding. Many women do in fact train and even run marathons in the humble six yards of fabric. And, Smita Biswas is proof and testament to that. 

For Smita, sari is the perfect fitness wear
A few years ago, Smita ran a marathon in a sari. After that there was no looking back for her. “I have always been a sari person. You will never spot me wearing anything else. So I thought when I can do my household chores and spend the entire work day in a sari, why can’t I run in it,” says the 45-year-old.

A senior voice and accent trainer at Accenture in Bengaluru, Smita is also a trained classical dancer in Kathak and Odissi. Since her first sari-clad marathon, she’s done and dusted multiple running events and has participated in the 100-km Oxfam Trailwalker India six times. 

But aren’t saris uncomfortable–especially when you’re training for hours daily?
On the contrary, says Smita, who strives to inspire young girls to adopt this garment. “It’s all about your comfort level and I am very comfortable wearing it,” she says. 

Smita Biswas
This is Smita who is rocking sari during an Oxfam trailwalk like a boss.

While it might seem that saris are anything but practical, Smita has a different take on it. An ardent detested or tees and pants, she prefers saris to even dri-fit activewear that many athletes don. “I see many people changing their active wear during long distances because they’re drenched in sweat. But cotton saris keep you cool. And since it’s very airy, you’re not dripping from top to bottom,” she quips. 

But surely chafing will be a concern for her!
Anybody with moderately-sized thighs knows the pain of chub-rub. And saris anything if not an invitation for massive chafing, thanks to the petticoats we have to wear underneath them. But Smita has a solution for that too. “I don’t wear underskirts with my saris when I’m training or running. I wear cotton salwars instead to avoid chafing,” she sheepishly reveals. 

Also, read: Taking on triathlon, part 1: So, I signed up for the Half Ironman in Goa, and…

So, where is this sari-wearing diva running off to next?
You’ll have to forgive us for the pun, because Smita is in fact gearing up for her seventh walkathon this month. She’s participating in the Oxfam Trailwalker in Bengaluru, on the 7th of Feb–and will walk a distance of 100 kilometres in 48 hours! All, while wearing a sari! 

“I just want young girls to know that living in a sari isn’t as difficult as they think it,” she concludes. 

If Smita can–so can you! Would you be willing to swap your activewear for a sari? Let us know in the comments below. 


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