On the fitness track
You can get fitter as you age. Meet the people who are living by the medical handbook and having a lot of fun doing it.
Rajbir Singh kanwar
Age: 53, Businessman
Not too many children can claim that their grandfathers have six-pack abs, but Rajbir Singh Kanwar's two grandchildren can do so with all honesty.
Kanwar, 53, is six feet tall and weighs 68kg. He's had no diagnosed illness and claims that he's never taken a pill since fitness became a part of his life. "I've not popped a pill even for a headache because I have never had one," says the Vikaspuri resident. Kanwar took to fitness 22 years ago when his elder son laughed at him for being breathless after going up a flight of stairs.
"I was running after him to catch him but I just couldn't. That's when I decided to lose weight and I lost 50kg in about five years. Since then I have been a fitness freak," he said.
At 53, Kanwar skips rope 15,000 times for 50 minutes. "When I had started I couldn't go beyond 60, and now I also do running and crunches after skipping," he said.
He runs and skips for three days a week and on the remaining three, goes to the gym for upper and lower body exercises on machines. "I do 250 sit-ups in one go," he says.
On Sundays, he takes it easy and gives his body time to recover. He is particular about his breakfast and has 500ml of double-toned milk with four eggs. At noon, he has a glass of orange juice before having lunch at 2pm. Cottage cheese, legumes, two chicken pieces and one vegetable with three chappatis for lunch. He has dinner before 8pm, which includes salad and soup or orange juice.
Keeping yourself busy is key
Dr Santosh Kumar Kacker
Age: 75, ENT specialist and former director, AIIMS
Dr Santosh Kumar Kacker is an ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialist who still operates at a charitable hospital, runs a clinic at home and presents research papers at national and international conferences.
"If you continue to be busy and do not stay confined within the four walls of your room, you will remain healthy, no matter what your age," says the former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who also lives a regulated life.
His day starts at 6am with a 45 minute brisk walk, followed by three cups of green tea while he scans the newspapers.
Breakfast is two slices of brown bread, two small bowls of seasonal fruit and a mug of coffee without milk and sugar.
He leaves for work at 8.30am and is back at 1pm for lunch, which is usually two chappatis, a small bowl of legumes (dal), veggies and yoghurt. After a 45-minute nap, he's at the clinic from 4pm to 7.30pm. "I'm a social drinker, with my alcohol intake restricted to twice a week at social do's.
Occasionally, I have a scoop of ice cream," he says.
He plays an occasional game of tennis, badminton or golf and relaxes by listening to classical music and reading Urdu poetry. On Sundays, his outdoor walk is replaced with 30 minutes on the treadmill at a speed of 5km an hour.
Making lifestyle changes improved her health
Age: 65, Playschool volunteer
After her husband died of a heart attack 20 years ago, Krishna Chakraborty, 65, took to exercising with a vengeance that still continues. "I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and took medicines for it for a while, but then making lifestyle changes helped me control it with medicines. It's normal now," she says.
Her day begins at 5.30am after which she goes for an hour-long brisk walk. The walk is followed by a cup of black lemon tea, after which she does an hour of yoga with an instructor.
"I do breathing exercises, stretching, light workout for different body parts such as neck, wrists, arms, legs and back. My body is extremely flexible and unlike my friends, I have no aches and pains," she says.
Breakfast is usually a small bowl of porridge or toast with omelette, a cup of milk and one serving of any seasonal fruit. Chakraborty volunteers at a neighbouring playschool for a couple of hours, which she says is relaxing.
Lunch is almost always at home. "We are Bengalis, so fish is a staple for us along with legumes, vegetables and yoghurt," she said. She has black lemon tea with two digestive biscuits in the evenings.
About an hour later follows a short walk. "I watch television before dinner, which comprises one chappati, legumes and a vegetable. I wash it down with a cup of warm milk," she said.