'Exercise? Who, me? no way.This is not my age to work out.” Don’t we hear such statements often? Most of the elderly Indian population scoffs at the idea of exercising. But 78 year Usha Soman proved us wrong.
Biochemist and retired teacher, the Shivaji Park resident is mother to famous model and marathon runner Milind Soman. Like her son, Usha is also fitness conscious. In a video that Milind has shared on Instagram, she is holding herself in the abdominal plank position for I minute and 20 seconds. If it sounds like a cakewalk, try it yourself and you will realise that it is quite a task to hold the position even for one minute. Senior Soman however has managed it for a whole 80 seconds without batting an eyelid. Earlier, she had also taken part in the Great India Run along with her celeb son when she covered 570 km in two weeks' time.
Usha Soman is not the only one in her league. 103 year old Dagdu Bhamre recently added a feather to his much-decorated cap when he ran the 4 km Mumbai marathon 2017. As old age advances, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and hearing problems become our companions. But physicians now say that age need not deter us from keeping fit.
Physician Arun Narvekar says, “At any stage of life, it is important to be active. Regular walks or yoga can be more suitable for this age. Practise yoga under the guidance of trained professionals. Walk briskly for 30 minutes but avoid strenuous exercises like lifting weights. Swimming is fine but avoid cycling as it might lead to injuries if you have an accident. You can keep yourself fit by doing daily chores and suryanamaskars too.”
Watching your diet is also important as age advances. Eat moderately but not meagerly. Have breakfast around 8 am (include fruit), lunch at 1 pm, light snacks like biscuits or puffed rice at 4 pm and a light dinner not later than 8 pm. Try to include veggies, ragi, lentils, fruits and if non-vegetarian, try and have chicken and fish twice a week.
Maintaining balance of mind and body is as important as being socially active. Loneliness among senior citizens breeds depression. "Interact with other social groups, people of your age and with the younger generation too. Participate in social activities in your area. This will help you to spend your time effectively,” advises Narvekar.
A balanced diet, regular exercise and stimulating social interaction.This three point agenda will help you age gracefully and cheerfully.
And age will remain just a number on the calendar. Three cheers for la Dolce Vita.