Shape up if you want to survive for long.

The studs underneath the shoes take a firm grip on the soft grass as you brace to lunge forward and negotiate the curved ball dispensed from the corner. Despite all that pushes and nudges created by human obstacles, you still find that gap between the shoulders at a height of seven feet and head that ball into the corner of the nets…..its a brilliant goal. The motley crowd bursts into an applause and your fellow players raise you on their shoulders to acknowledge the important score that you have added in the tally. Sprinting a few hundred yards at top speed has never been a problem as your stamina is at its peak and you are in your prime youth. Covering that 100 yards stretch for ninety minutes is just a child’s play and has been conditioned by those prolonged hours of practice.

Well, almost two decades have gone past and walking half a kilometre now, for that after-dinner puff seems like a cross country marathon. Adipose tissues accumulated over all these years because of a sedentary life adds to the woes and maybe you would want to take out the two wheeler for the purpose and not task your legs which is wobbling under your overweight torso. Life has changed and so also your physique and maybe you are just knocking at the doors of harbouring diseases which you thought would ultimately creep into your life some day or the other. Finally we are all ageing and life beyond the late thirties almost looks like entering into the middle age phase. Movements get restricted and so also body coordination, balance and flexibility. Bone mass start reducing at a rate and neurons restrict physical reactions. Out comes the lenses perching on your nose to make those words readable. A few steps of climbing and we start breathing like a dragon without fire. Acidity and indigestion has now become so common that a loud gastrointestinal outburst made accidentally in public gets regarded as nothing less than a felony by your spouse. Well then we have all resigned to this state of affairs and give a damn to what others may think about it. The work life has shifted from the scorching heat of the field to the armchair in an air-conditioned cabin and therefore such lapses of physical conditions get accepted without disdain.

Please do confess over here whether you actually like this state or do you still long to go back to those youthful days when you were bubbling with energy and the clothes fitted you to the tee. Lets not get into the debate of acknowledging the fact that ageing is a truth and one has to start accepting it as it comes. But then can we retard this entire process and shape up or is it just a prerogative of sports personalities who can maintain their physical best by the virtue of the tough rigmarole that they have gone through and continue to lead their lives under a disciplined regime. Some of us do get very serious about this and take to a strict life by following a healthy diet and working out at the Gym. Good for them that they have realised this and working out sincerely to reverse the situation as much as possible. I am not intending to state that the same youthfulness would be back and you would start dating a teenager but then getting into shape is actually not a difficult task. I can see those raised eyebrows and non acceptance, because to tuck that protruding belly still seems nothing less than MI IV. Maybe you do not have the patience to pump those irons or complete laps on the treadmill. You tried no doubt but then it was boring enough to discourage continuity and that hefty fee paid as an annual subscription went a complete waste.

But you can actually shape up by re-designing your daily routine and fine tuning your quality of life. Some simple practices if done regularly can actually work wonders on your body dimensions and enhance your stamina. You neither have to sweat it out at the local gym nor adopt an ascetic life to lose those extra kilos. Let me share some tips that have helped me in regaining some lost glories. All these tips have been practised and not googled for your reference. Also I would have no medical explanation to substantiate my claims and no research papers to prove them either. Can you follow them?

  1. Follow the age old tradition of having breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Often I come across people who have got into a habit of skipping breakfast and end up having a heavy dinner. Actually it is the reverse. You should start the morning by eating a full, balanced and healthy diet with no real exemptions. As the day progresses, you should start to eat light and eat less carbs near the evening. This helps your metabolism progressively continue to work; as a result, towards the end of the day, you should sleep easily without feeling too full. Your body will continue to work throughout sleep and be ready in the morning for the cycle again. You should take in consideration if you’re a morning person or night/evening as you may have to tweak this little saying a bit.
  2. Stick to a particular time of eating. Ideally breakfast should be over by 8:00 am, lunch by 12:30 pm and dinner by 7:00 pm. This may not be possible, thanks to the way we function at work but then never have a solid meal after 8:00 pm. Also do not go to sleep two hours after your dinner. Maybe a brief walk if managed would help but not a long walk for sure. Sit up and read a book or watch TV instead.
  3. Drink close to nothing less than seven litres of water in a day. The more the better.
  4. If possible take green tea after every meal and it is supposed to cut the fats. One good method that I practice is to sip lukewarm water with a tinge of lemon for at least three to four times in a day.
  5. You would kill me if I ask you to stay away from the “spirits” but then avoid a regular intake. Don’t douse yourself as if there is no tomorrow and then go on a feasting binge. Ideally a weekend affair is fine and that too if you can keep it below 120ml…all right 200 ml for that matter. Have it after dinner and not vice versa. I will also hold this abstinence true against the carbonated and artificial drinks.
  6. I would give you all credits if you can do away with that cancer stick. There is nothing called pressure release through smoke belching nostrils. It is very easy to do away with it and trust me withdrawal symptoms are a figment of your own stupid imagination and not your lungs and blood either.
  7. Be a sun chaser and wake up early. For that you need to go to bed early. I don’t see a reason why someone has to stay awake beyond 2300 hours..is it TV or it’s a self induced insomnia that is preventing you from hitting the bed. All those thrillers in the movie channel get repeated every alternative day and FIFA does not host world cup matches every day in the calendar year. Is it actually the shop that has been carried home or is it the crazy habit of surfing the net that keeps you away from cuddling up with your family in the cool comforts of your own bed. Ideal range of a good sleep is 10:00 pm to 5:00 am….ok, I shall give you that one hour variance on the late side.
  8. Bored of a gym? Try sports instead. It is addictive and wakes you up every morning to get into a healthy regime. I tried Tennis and it has helped me immensely. Few medical benefits with logical reasoning that you can get out of a regular visit to the tennis courts.
  9. A) Best way to lose weight:- If you play for just one hour of singles every morning then — Men burn 600 calories and Women burn 425 calories. To reduce half a pound of fat you need to burn 3000 calories in a week and this is just enough to lose that amount of weight.
  10. B) Reduces the risk of coronary diseases:- It is a great stress buster, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level and reduces heart disease. Burning at an average of 2000 calories per week puts you in a lower risk category of dying due to heart disease.
  11. C) Enhances flexibility and coordination:- The arms and hands position the racquet and the torso and legs provide the power. While playing the game the entire body goes through a timed coordination which helps in flexibility and balance of the body. It helps in synchronising controlled movements which can have benefits that can carry over to other areas of your life. The essence of running, reaching and sweating helps you in regaining your lost touch of staying active always.
  12. D) Boosts your brain power:- Neurons are the cells that transmit information between your brains and different parts of the body. To send these messages, connections develop between neurons to facilitate communication, and the better the connection is between neurons, the easier and more quickly the message is received and executed. Doing one activity over and over again, the neural connections associated with that action becomes stronger and more fixed. Also in the game when you are so much involved in planning and indulging in tactical thinking, it leads generation of new neurons. In the entire process, your brains start functioning better and the game aids memory enhancement, learning and behavioural skills.
  13. E) Improves your bone health:- I am told that body mass peaks around the age of 30 post which it starts to decline. Through tennis you can maximise this and then retard the rate of bone loss. Best exercises for building bone strength and mass are exercises that involve weights. That does not necessarily mean to lift weights — the body and the resistance of gravity against it is often enough to give you the weight bearing exercises.

Now that you must be holding me in total disregard of preaching all the way into your nerve cells, I shall make my exit but not before reminding you that I practiced and it has given me fabulous and unbelievable results. For me that life has taken a different path of assured salaried life to an uncertain business pursuit, staying healthy and active has become an imperative that I cannot ignore even if I want to. We always walk that extra mile to achieve our mundane targets and get those accolades from the top echelons of our workplace. So what stops us from doing the same in shaping up and improving our quality of life…think before those creepy diseases start knocking at the doors.

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