AVK Mohan

"I prefer outdoor endurance exercises"

A fitness enthusiast for whom age is just a number. He shares his secrets on maintaining his youth even at the age of 55 with Spandana Birajdar.

A little bit of me

I'm a 55 year old medical doctor qualified in the specialty of hospital administration. I have a work experience of 31 years and presently leading a 500 bedded multispecialty hospital in Armed forces. Being the head of a large hospital, my job is stressful and the work hours are erratic. Despite this I manage to keep myself very active and lead a healthy lifestyle so that I can maintain my youth even at the age of 55; perhaps I'm much fitter now than my younger days. Fitness to me means to lead a physically active and healthy lifestyle without any vices. If one stays fit there will be no age bar to undertake strenuous activities including adventure sports.

My activities

I prefer outdoor running and cycling. During my college days I was into body building and weight lifting and won the Weight lifting championship. After joining the services, I did a lot of mountaineering and started participating in motorsports including Raid de Himalaya/adventure expeditions on motorbike to the world's highest motorable pass 'Khardungla' and then diversified into Marathons, ran Mumbai Full Marathons 42.195 km with best timing of 3.44 hours. I also did paragliding, white water rafting and long distance cycling up to 150 km.

Recently, in April and May of 2014, I had been to all eight states of North East on motorbike including Nathu La in Sikkim, Bum La in Arunachal Padesh, Moreh Myanmar Border in Manipur and Akhaura Bangladesh Border in Tripura. I consider it as a life time achievement, especially at the prime age of 55 years. I personally feel that I'm on the extreme end of following a healthy lifestyle and hope that I can continue like this for years to come.

My fitness regime

I run daily for 10 km during physical training time and go for long runs (20-30 kms) and long cycling (50-60 km) during weekends and holidays. I have reduced my diet over the years to compensate the aging process with reduced basal metabolic rate. This year I stopped having sweets and non-vegetarian food. I also avoid sugar in beverage, instead I use honey. I have healthy meals throughout the day and don't indulge in smoking or drinking.

Takeaway message

Although Diabetes does not run in my family I still take preventive measures to avoid this dreaded disease by undergoing regular blood tests, following a balanced diet and leading an active and healthy lifestyle. For me Diabetes is like a snake and you can only tame this disease with diet, change in lifestyle and regular medication and thus lead a normal life. But if you ignore your condition then the snake will bite you with life threatening complications.

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