Can I look fit and fab like Nicole Kidman at 55?
When Hollywood actor Nicole Kidman arrived at 55, with toned muscles and a ripped body, posing confidently on the cover of Perfect magazine, many wondered if it was easy for normal 50-plus people to reverse-age as easily. True she had dietary modifications and an intensely focussed workout regimen to achieve the poster look, but fitness is ageless and has much to do with feeling good from the inside out. You may not work for the muscular look but can look taut and active all the same.
The biggest tool we humans have is our intelligence to create, recreate, generate, regenerate and integrate together. This means we have the processes and potential to transform our bodies in weeks, months and years depending upon our objectives. Whether in our 50s, mid 50s or 60s, the body always has potential. If we were to look at the example of Sylvester Stallone and the way he looked at 70 like an art sculpture, we would have realised that he was the outcome of human intelligence and determination.
HOW TO DRAW UP A REGIME FOR SELF-LOVE
What goes inside primarily is self-discipline and self-love. In Yoga, we follow the eight disciplines like Yama (abstinence), Niyama (observance), Asana (poses), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (control of senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption). With these disciplines we can counter the forces of entropy, which is the universal tendency of breaking our body down to disease, degeneration, decay and death. So the forces of entropy are – time, matter, space, light, motion, mass, causation and effect. You can counter it all with Ashtanga Yoga, the components of which are described above.
THE MAGIC FORMULA
Progressive optimal movement with synchronised breath is the way to general fitness, immunity and age reversal.
Becoming more athletic and improving strength, stamina and coordination are not that difficult. Make up your mind and body for everyday challenges.
Emotional catharsis with crying, screaming, followed by laughter, dancing and singing can get you going in no time.
WHAT MY PLATE SHOULD LOOK LIKE
It is absolutely possible to increase or maintain muscular mass as we age above 50. A big emphasis will need to be placed on nutrition and food in order to increase the muscle mass. Protein is an essential nutrient for building and maintaining muscle. So, getting the recommended amount of protein on a daily basis is important.
Often seniors begin eating less as they age. Their daily nutrient intake begins to diminish by the day.
Consuming a minimal amount of suggested protein is important to avoid the risks of muscle loss. Sufficient nutrient intake is crucial to avoid muscle loss. You must get enough protein, anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense foods, calcium, vitamin D plus supporting minerals. Good nutrition along with a good workout is the key to rebuilding muscle mass.
A nature-based diet is important as we age because it is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory in nature. It is beneficial for a good heart, digestion, muscle building and repair.
With all of the above, the cellular regeneration is absolutely instantaneous. You have to be in perfect balance with your Vata, Pitta and Kapha – the three doshas (humors). Vata is an energy responsible for movement, Pitta is the energy for digestion and Kapha is the energy responsible for lubrication. If the three doshas are in balance, you become a unidoshi. After your Kama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Mada (arrogance), Moha (delusion), Matsarya (jealousy) can be reconciled and harmonised. The yogic lifestyle impacts the Rasa (plasma or cytoplasm), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Meda (fat), Ashti (bone and cartilage), Majja (bone marrow and nerves) ) and Shukra (reproductive tissues).
We can achieve holistic health with a balanced state of the three doshas (humors), the seven tissues (dhatus) and gastric fire (agni) with clarity and balance of the senses, mind and spirit.
TAKE ADEQUATE REST
Sleep well, because rest ultimately sets your recourse, heals and uplifts you, makes you whole from being fragmented. Rest liberates more energy, conserves your body, breath and reorganises your intelligence to renew the body every day. Work on heightening the senses through natural elements to charge up the etheric body and accomplish the mechanics of manifestation.
(Dr Mehta has trained Bollywood superstars Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, billionaires, politicians, Miss World/Miss Universe candidates and the Maharashtra Police. A best-selling author, he has been appointed FIT India Movement Champion by the Sports Authority of India).