Saturday, July 16, 2016

How to walk smartly into old age ..

Active Living
Most of the people living on planet earth who have crossed fifty years of age are all concerned about two things, how to gracefully age and how to be active even into old age.
This morning while waiting for a faculty member at the NS Palya campus of Alliance University, Bangalore, after taking a morning class for the executive MBA students, I met an elderly person, who was enquiring for another faculty member. I casually entered into a conversation with him, enquiring where he was coming from and what is the purpose of  his visiting our University.
Mr. Subramaniam, is a faculty member teaching Finance subjects in Bangalore University colleges on visiting basis and told me that he retired from Life Insurance Corp of India as a Divisional Manager. Causally I asked him what his age was, I was expecting him to say something around 70 and there with a bang he proudly says he is 80 years old !!

I was taken aback !! I asked him how he kept himself so active at this age. His three word reply was, "keeping myself busy !!"

His secret to good health was very simple, just three secrets :
            1. keeping an active and positive mind and body,
            2. practicing yoga on a daily basis and
            3. doing something good for society and young people.              

He told me how he is on the board of at least four NGOs and finds great satisfaction and pleasure in helping the needy, aged and less fortunate people around him.
Keeping oneself busy with a positive life, (no smoking, drinking etc..), philanthropic actions benefiting society, practicing yoga, eating in moderation and trying to teach others Financial Management, he gets great satisfaction in using his talent to enrich the society around him.
Recently I was reading a Harvard Medical School document on how to keep one's mind sharp at any age. I was quite exhilarated to note the following five points from the article, an eye opener, which will help keep our minds sharp at any age.
1. keeping learning at whatever age we are, 
2. using all five senses for our everyday activities, especially learning, 
3. believing in ourself, being completely positive and not allowing small issues to pull us back
4. training the brain to remember important events by means of calendars etc
5. repeating remembering, recollecting and reading what we want to remember or want to know and finally
6. spacing out periods of study to master complicated thoughts or actions, for example writing a document and editing it after some time again, once or twice, will help make the document a rich one. 
I am reminded of my father aged 92 (a B.Com graduate of the 40s from SH College, Thevara, Ernakulam) who even to this day keeps reading The Hindu newspaper in great detail, a practice he started at a very young age. 
Even to this day, when I engage in some conversation with my father, I am delighted to know the authority and command he has on the subject and knowledge in the area. The extra reading and learning is helping him keep young in spirit and thoughts even though he is running 93, has physically reduced his food intake much. He does not smoke nor drink, consumes less non-veg food except for occasional fish, with regular and daily exercises and short noon walks.

Some of my earlier writings on benefits of walking which is a form of mild exercising ..

In short, 
      1. be positive in thoughts and actions,
      2. engage in some activities benefiting society for example, helping an NGO,
      3. do a little bit of yoga or walking exercises,
      4. control your food intake,
      5. keep your brain active with some reading and writing or even teaching,
all these will make your old age much more healthy, jolly, pleasant and beneficial to the society.


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