If i ask you – what is the single most important thing for a wholesome happy life? Take a few seconds and tell yourself before browsing this blog any further.
Answer is :
“Physical and Mental Wellness” are the first and single most important thing one must have for making a happy and fulfilled life. Your good health is so good for you, your family, your parents, your friends and your profession. The start point of overall well being – is the physical and mental fitness.
As an ex- Army man, running and morning Physical Training (called PT) has been a regular habit – and I thank the National Defence Academy to push this in my life. I so wish our schools in India also have an adventure and fitness focus.
Overtime I have begun to love the feeling of getting up in the morning and going for a run and regret the days I am unable to go for any reason. Running is so good for us that I would love to encourage as many people as I can to begin to run and keep running forever.
The other day, a close friend asked me if at an age of 45-50, it is ok to run. I have always believed that running and yoga are the most natural forms of exercises – and they both can be done at any age and at a pace that follows your own rhythm.
Let me make a mention here of the Legendary Centenarian Marathoner – Fauja Singh, a Sikh who is now a British citizen. He is 105 years old and he ran his first marathon – the London Marathon in year 2000, at an age of 89 – read that again – began at an age of 89 years. In October 2011, he became the first human being in the recorded history to complete a marathon at 100 years of age. And now at 105, while he has given up competitive running, has no plans to give up running.
Speaking about the marathon, he said: “The first 20 miles are not difficult. As for last six miles, I run while talking to God”. Standing 172 cm, weighing 52 kg, the grand old man of running reveals his secret to a life of fitness and longevity. Five things –
- No smoking and alcohol.
- A simple vegetarian diet, He says – “My diet is simple phulka, dal, green vegetables, yogurt and milk. I do not touch parathas, pakoras or rice or any other fried food. I take lots of water and tea with ginger …”
- He goes to bed early taking the name of Rabba (God).
- Does not allow any negative thoughts cross his mind.
- Daily habit of running.
You would be surprised to know that till the age of 5, he did not develop the ability to walk; his legs were too thin and weak and could hardly walk long distances. There is actually no end to the indomitable human spirit. Fauja Singh simply never gives up. Well that is really inspiring for the tribe of aspiring runners.
So! Is there an age to start running? Think Fauja Singh! You could begin now … and thank yourself all life that you started running. A 30 minute walk or run in the morning, keeps the activity levels heightened for about 6 hours.
The benefits of running are many – overall fitness, heightened activity levels, efficient metabolism, high immunity to diseases, low heart ailment risks, less prone to diabetes, you get better sleep, longer life, overall happy feelings – you just live a better life. There is lot on the web on the benefits – click here .
Why should you not opt for a superior life for yourself and your family? Now, are you ready to start? For a beginner – 5 km run is a good target and one should plan to do this in about 2 months. One of best trainers for long distance running has been Hal Higdon – here is a link to his 5 km program. I would recommend this to be the first step towards your running journey… Click here to get the program.
The Fundamentals : Now, 5 things that I feel are fundamental things to begin running –
- Select Good Life. If you have chosen to live a better life – running is going to be a way of life – commit to it. No chasing big targets – just get out of the bed, wear sports gear, step out of the house and walk and run – that’s it. Just show up outdoors.
- Form a Habit. Form a habit and feed it as a trigger in your mind – eg. Think about doing morning run before sleeping; keep the shoes and shorts ready. When you wake up remind yourself that you are going to do it this morning– and after tea – you would wear your shoes and step outdoors – that’s it! Rest – what is to be done – we would see outdoors. So remember -to think if running tonight before sleeping.
- Let it grow Naturally. Do not ever overdo it – follow your body messages and rhythm. Take it at your natural pace. Increase gradually over a long time. The only target worthwhile is to go out and run and if possible – 50 meters extra every day. That is not much at all …
- Join a Running Community. We all do a little better in a group. It is often encouraging to be part of a small running group or club or just a running partner. As for me, I always run alone – but I do enjoy group runs – there is a lot of good energy, camaraderie and bonhomie.
- Hydration is Important – As you enter the world of running – hydration will be a second nature in all your runs or walks. The water bottle will be your partner. Hydrate throughout the day.
So what are you waiting for ? Go wear your shoes – get outdoors – and walk or run … For me I have decided to devote my life to a fulfilling journey either through a run or trekking or adventure. Physical activity will be a part of my daily life …
What do you think? Please write to me or if you have any suggestions, you must put in here in comments for others to benefit.
If you wish to read my regular blogs – please do subscribe! I write to Good Life Project …
- FAUJA Singh asks Punjabi youths to stop indulging into drug menace and start drinking “lassi” and milk (ludhiananews.wordpress.com)
- Got mango panic? 102-year-old marathon runner Fauja Singh’s guide to Ilford Lane’s mangos (ilfordrecorder.co.uk)
- Turbaned Tornado (vramonline.wordpress.com)
- The ageless Punjabi Marathon runner. (ireport.cnn.com)
- Amazing 101-Year-Old Marathon Runner Is Retiring (buzzfeed.com)