Longer version of Run&Bee HT column Week 40 / 2.3.2019: To be of any use to your loved ones, first help yourself. Move!

All are aware of the ultimate truth of life, i.e. death, but most live in a denial and suffer from ‘immortal-till-I-die’ syndrome. This is rampant all across in today’s society, more so in the corporate world and even in school going children, both of which should bother us immensely, as they are the future of the country.

The same was highlighted in a survey done as part of a white-paper for Corporate Wellness Program presented at Knowledge Conclave of Global Association for Corporate Services (GACS).

It showed that 43% of corporate employee are of the opinion that they will not suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, stroke and psychological conditions.

37 year old Amit Kumar Sharma, working in a multi-national company in Gurgaon had a similar story. In 2014 his mother had been diagnosed with kidney stones along with diabetes. She was prescribed life long medicines and her blood sugar needed to be monitored on a regular basis.

While trying out the new glucometer first on his own self, Amit was taken aback to learn that his random blood sugar was 380 mg/dl, way more than his mother who he was concerned about. The very next day he booked an appointment with his mother’s treating endocrinologist doctor, who advised him to check his glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which came out twice of what it should have been. He was immediately put on medications and advised to lose weight. He happened to be 106kgs at that time.

Like most of us, he researched everything there was to know about diabetes on internet. He realised that bad eating habits, excessive carbohydrate and sugar in every meal, lack of physical activity and stress in life had lead to his obesity. He immediately started addressing those factors. Over next 2 years, he reduced his body weight to 86 kgs and body fat from 32% to 18% by following some basic rules.

Amit Sharma.jpg

Diet:

He markedly reduced the intake of the three white poisons from his diet, namely sugar, salt and refined flour.

He changed his diet to high protein and low carbohydrate diet, preferably complex carbohydrate. He started to focus more on small and frequent meals rather than athree big meals. Along with all this he kept a note of calories intake unlike earlier when he would go crazy for anything and everything as soon as he saw it.

Exercise:

He started doing strength training six days a week. This involved both body weight exercises and weight training with free weights and with machines too.

He followed a simple rule of increasing the weights gradually and keep the exercise form right. He runs 20-30 minutes 4-5 days a week, with no intent of participating in any races.

Stress:

He decided to become his best friend, only then could he be of any use to his family and friends. He also decided to worry lesser about issues that he anyways couldn’t do much about.

He has become a lot more content, which actually has helped him accomplish more in his professional life too as compared his earlier self. He makes sure he sleeps 6-8 hours every night.

In less than a year, with lifestyle changes, he was able to get his blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) to normal. At that time, he stopped taking medicine and has been doing well since.

It takes me back to the first line of defence medical students are taught about lifestyle diseases, that they conveniently forget after the exams. 

Before starting on lifelong medications, make lifestyle changes. Reclaim yourself as its in your vested interest to be your best.

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