No age bar on sweating it out: 'Keep walking, don't be a couch potato'

Dubai fitness challenge, fitness, gymming

Dubai - 'Today, at the riper age of 70, I still 'need the need' to sweat it out.'



By Bikram Vohra

Published: Wed 23 Oct 2019, 11:05 PM

I boxed at the age of seven when I was in Class II. It was compulsory and I got whacked and cried like the baby I was. But I went back into the ring because you just had to go back and - many years later with a flat nose, some missing teeth, and a deviated nasal septum - did a few bouts at the highest level. The magic of the physical lies in loving the sweat out, that flow of endorphins, and the sense of well-being that exercise gives.

Look, I love cricket and, by virtue of being the principal's blue-eyed boy at St Joseph's College, was made the team captain. Since I somehow felt marooned in a crease and hated loving the game, in my first 'away' match, I was out first ball and gave the bowler his hat trick. In subsequent matches, I scored 4 (a boundary) 3 and 6, thereby ending my threat to Dhoni and Kohli and their tribe, as the blue from the Princy's eyes faded away.

But I truly came into my own in squash, thanks to my friend and top flight trainer Abbas Khan during the 35 years I have been in Dubai.

There was a high point when Abbas arranged an exhibition match for me against world champion Jahangir Khan. Finally having been reduced to pulp without taking a point, I confronted the champ on the court and said, 'if you don't give me a point I won't print your picture in the papers'. He was gracious enough to put the ball into the tin and I did a lap of honour to great applause.

Today, at the riper age of 70, I still 'need the need' to sweat it out. I have built a kind of badminton court at my house in Safa and most evenings it is open house and great fun to be beaten by my daughters.

If it is too windy, I go swimming with my granddaughters. Just do something. Climb the flipping stairs if nothing else.

Trick is not to give up. Not to do it for a month and then let gravity take over but to keep at it and enjoy the sheer exhilaration of a workout.

This past week, I joined the Galadari-inspired Zumba class as part of the 30-day Dubai Fitness Challenge. Clumsy though I was (the video is hilarious), next morning, I had that happy ache of unused muscles and bones creaking yet so liberated.

Then came this incredible chair yoga session from Fit the Click and there I was in all my senior citizen glory twisted like a pretzel and loving every moment of it. This morning, I felt like a million dollars, no aches, no pain, like that is what it is all about.

Keep walking. Just do it. Don't be a couch potato. Take that first step. Today and for the rest of your life.

Don't get bogged down by all the fads and fancies and techniques and clever-sounding procedures. They are all good in themselves but they sound like a lesson in class.

It is between your body and you and you set the pace.
10 tips for all ages
Here are some very relevant tips that help even as you totter into antiquity. Age is not a bar. Don't slow down as an excuse to eat wafers and bingewatch TV.
- Don't overdo it.there are no prizes for being an ass. If the body says stop, stop.
- Watch your diet.we eat too much, most of us do, and the body does not need that mountain of food.
- Slow down on worrying. If you cannot do anything about it, worry doesn't help. Exercise is a negative if your mind isn't in it.
- Sleep your eight hours.there is no pride in sleep debt.
- Warm up, cool down or warm down after a bout.
- If a muscle or ligament is hurting, back off putting pressure on it. Nothing heroic about permanent damage.
- Listen to your body.it speaks every language and it speaks eloquently.
- Laugh. Yes. A laugh 'with' is worth a run around the track. Laugh at yourself and your foibles and follies and that honestly is worth two rounds of the track. I do it all the time.
- Don't be a hamster. Stop and smell the roses; otherwise, why do you have a rose garden? Life rushes past and all you have are status symbols which you cannot take with you.
- As Paul Eddington of the 'Yes Minister' series said, 'I want to do very little harm'. Sweat it out and you will do very little harm.


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