All posts by Swati Limaye

GO UP ON YOUR KNEES!

          Start exercising

Essentially, our body is designed for performing activities like walking, running, kneeling, traditional Indian cross-sitting on the floor and climbing up stairs and down, that require us to bend our knees regularly.

It is a popular myth that preforming these activities can wear off the cushioning on the joint, causing arthritis. What’s less known, is the fact that these movements inturn help to keep the cartilage intact, in the long run. Studies amongst exercising and non-exercising adults, with arthritis have shown that those performing exercises have less pain, are able to get back to function early and remain better 1 year later without the use of drugs.

How does this work?

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The cartilage receives its nutrition from the fluid present in the joint space. It is like a sponge which throws water and waste products out when pressed, and absorbs the fresh water and nutrients when unloaded. Regular loading and unloading helps to maintain a healthy cartilage.

Rule of use or lose

Your body is like your money in the stocks. You have got to keep it moving; use it else lose it.

Our bones become stronger and packed with calcium when we involve ourselves in exercises like jumps, squats, lunges that put load on them.  Loading is healthy because just like us, our body too sees it as a challenge that will only help it emerge out stronger. Similarly muscles, if not used go into disuse atrophy and lose their strength and flexibility. As age advances, it is furthermore imperative for us to intersperse our sedentary living patterns with bits of mobility exercises away from the desk. To start with, a short walk around the alley every hour can prevent joint stiffness in our air-conditioned zones.

Arthritis no more means medicines,  passive rest and open invitation to obesity. The rules have changed. Its now a motivation to get moving, think prevention and get a rapid cure through correct exercise. Go up on your knees! Defy aging, redefine arthritis!

SECOND CHILDHOOD

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“Hume cycle chalana tha, hum poora city dekhke aaya.”

We loved the gusto of Bhashkor Banerjee played by Amitabh Bachchan in Piku that takes him on a city ride astride a cycle. As he drenches in the memories of his hometown calcutta, we are left awed by the 80 odd man’s verve for freedom and fitness.

While not impossible, it isn’t everyday that we get to see the elderly around us pulling off a stint as such with same ease. There have been examples of exemplary fitness displayed at the golden age; Fauja Singh, a UK based athlete continues to run marathons at 102 years of age.  He could achieve the feat as a result of years of physical conditioning.

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Fauja singh at Millenium bridge, London

Our body begins to lose strength, endurance and flexibility as the age advances. The good news-  we can combat this degeneration by performing strength training exercises with dumbells or pushups using body weight, cardiovascular activities like running, swimming and flexibility routines like yoga.  Several researches state that the incidence of joint related problems is much lesser or occurs much later in exercising adults than the non-exercising. It has been possible, in many cases, to avoid knee replacement surgeries by investing in correct exercising routines.

While some daily exercise as Piku suggests could have also relieved the constipated Bhaskor Banerjee, we’d rather leave it at Shoojit Sircar’s discretion.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can, says Arthur Ashe.

Now is the best time to begin. A good professional advice can go a long way to stay fit and healthy, age no bar. Isnt gray age second childhood??