Plan a healthier 2012

Plan a healthier 2012
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First Published: Mon, Dec 19 2011. 07 40 PM IST

To-do list: A colourful meal provides anti-ageing nutrients. By Diego Cervo/Thinkstock
To-do list: A colourful meal provides anti-ageing nutrients. By Diego Cervo/Thinkstock
Updated: Mon, Dec 19 2011. 07 40 PM IST
To-do list: A colourful meal provides anti-ageing nutrients. By Diego Cervo/Thinkstock
If you’re looking at the big picture, then a healthy lifestyle that enables you to have lots more energy must top your list. If you want to do more and more with every passing year, learn and do new things, irrespective of your age—whether it is bungee jumping, rock climbing, belly dancing or hitting the gym. You need a plan in place right away. Remember, age is merely a tool for verifying identity on a passport or birth certificate, not a predetermined way to look and act.
For instance, why should a 50-year-old subject himself/herself to very basic light weight training? Why can’t he or she explore more strenuous forms of workout like kettlebell or kick-boxing? Instead of getting stuck with numbers, and feeling like a been-there done-that person, go ahead and run the half marathon for the first time in 2012, take up a new career, experiment with fashion, enjoy hip hop with your son, play with the latest gizmos, and most importantly, believe in yourself. Believe that you can conquer arthritis or diabetes, delay heart problems and truly have the energy to live life king-size.
Stereotypes stifle our natural energy quotient as they mould us into following predetermined, done- to-death paths which may be safe, but not motivational or helpful in changing our lives. So go ahead, put together a brand new to-do list for 2012:
Learn and do something new in the coming year. By Thinkstock
Focus on improving your energy drive rather than on short-term goals of weight loss, or losing a few inches around your hips or waist.
List the physical activities you engaged in when you were in school or college and compare it with what you are doing now. For instance, if you played hours of football or basketball in college and now you find it hard even to climb stairs, then think about getting back to some sport. You could start with a game of table tennis and badminton if you have had a sedentary lifestyle for a long time. Work backwards for the preparation, start with basic stretching and limbering up for 20 minutes a day, move on to light jogging, locate a club where you can get coaching and set the first competition date with a buddy, maybe in, for instance, October.
Make 2012 the year of the big breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast is critical to weight loss, improved concentration and more importantly, resolving the tricky 4-6pm sweet and junk food craving time. A healthy breakfast helps to balance blood glucose levels first thing in the morning after an overnight fast and sets the energy tempo for the day. Lunch then acts as a top-up fuel. Oats, muesli, broken wheat (dalia), skimmed milk, eggs and fruits are good choices for breakfast. Protein supplements are good for vegetarians.
Make it the year of colourful nutrition. Have five different colours a day of fruits and vegetables. Dark green from spinach and rocket lettuce, yellow/orange from bell pepper and pumpkin, red from tomatoes and red pepper and purple from aubergine and purple cabbage. Colours provide precious anti-ageing nutrients.
Engage in or learn about one adventure activity this year. Go hiking, trekking or birdwatching.
Madhuri Ruia is a nutritionist and Pilates expert. She runs InteGym in Mumbai, which advocates workouts with healthy diets.
Write to Madhuri at dietdesk@livemint.com
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First Published: Mon, Dec 19 2011. 07 40 PM IST
More Topics: Diet Desk | Madhuri Ruia | 2012 | Planning | Health |