Presenting Harmony's silvers - sparkling lives, success stories, accounts of endurance, courage, grit and passion

‘Reverse’ psychology

Author: admin

I enjoy competing with my grandkids for push-ups and pull-ups, flaunting my body’s flexibility and breaking my own records in fasting. These are the things that give me confidence and push me towards my health goals.

I am 82 years old and have set myself on the bold mission of challenging some conventions associated with ageing: That ageing comes with inevitable health ailments; ageing means retirement; and ageing comes with financial insecurity. And I’m proud to say that I have won these challenges, again and again!

I used to run a grocery mart, a business I inherited from my father. I passed it on to one of my sons some years ago, which gave me the opportunity to focus on the things I love. One of these is living a healthy life.

I have been rigorously following a diet and fitness plan for 20 years and have reaped its enormous benefits. I focus on my mental and physical health as well as my nutrition, thanks to my physiotherapist-grandson Shubham.

My fitness regime is a three-hour exercise plan that includes an hour each of yoga and meditation, followed by 30 minutes of strengthening exercises and running for 30 minutes. I meditate and practise yoga on my terrace. For strengthening, I use resistance bands, which I prefer doing in my living room. I also read up on fitness and this helps me frame my strategy.

A healthy diet is integral to a plan like mine. It’s been 20 years since I gave up my favourite snacks: kachori, samosa and gulab jamun. My meals vary from day to day but the only constants are a bowl of dal, vegetable soup (low salt), wheat chapattis, milk and a fruit or fruit juice.

Fasting has helped me strengthen my immune and digestive systems and taught me self-control. I have been following different fasting regimes for five years, such as alternate day fasts and cleansing fasts. Every time I complete a fast successfully, I feel empowered and happy that my mind and heart are under control. I usually break my morning and evening meals into two to three short meals to prevent putting stress on my digestive system.

I continue to run our family grocery mart in my son’s absence. I have a supernatural vision of reversing my ageing process through exercise and diet. I know that sounds crazy, but I am an ‘oldie’ and you have to excuse an oldie for being crazy!

—Badrinarayan Khandelwal, 82, Dhule

Photo: Shubham Khandelwal
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
September 2018