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mardi 5 août 2014


If you are reading airline magazines or on the net browsing, every  now and then you come across the ads:
How does this neurosurgeon look so good without his scrubs? or they would show you a picture of Dr Life who at age 74 has lots of well developed muscles, then they would show you how he looked at age 54, when he was busy practicing Family Practice: he looked old, with a belly and flabby muscles and very worried.
What is the secret of these transformation on these doctors who now practice Healthy Aging Medicine and also train other doctors to become Healthy Aging Specialists.
Prominently displayed in their advertisements is : No insurance accepted.
What they are offering is their own secret. Let us see how many of hardworking Americans can take the time to do it, let alone pay an ENORMOUS amount of money to hear the doctors encourage you over the phone or internet?
Daily visits to the Gym, for many hours, not minutes
Have a trainer who would guide your exercise and weightlifting programme. Then there is the nutrition, guided by a nutritionist and of course the cost of buying the food. There are bioidentical ? hormonal therapy for the sexual component, and not to mention specially crafted supplements.
Let me introduce you to my best friend in Asia, who is a grain merchant in Bogor. He is routinely mistaken for someone much younger and what is important is that he can run faster, bicycle faster than many people half his age. 
How does he do it?
He had never heard of Dr Life or Dr Rosenstein. He would laugh at the idea of going to the gym and have a personal trainer. Nutritionist? oh, my God, he would say. With regards to supplements he takes none. and there is no bioidentical hormonal therapy!
Believe it or not, he is very fit, bicycles about 32 km per day! He is also busy with his business but has good business associates who help him with it.He travels the world for business, making one or two trips from Indonesia to either Europe or USA per month, and many trips to other parts of Asia.
He is the one wearing the green tee shirt!
Perhaps the fact that he lives in Indonesia is in his favor, being compassionate would be another thing in his favor. While he is successful in his business, he lacks the competitive urge and without meditation or yoga, maintains a very calm demeanor. 
His Blood Pressure is 100/60 the pulse rate is between 55 and 60/min. A medical doctor checking him for an annual insurance examination suggested that he see a Cardiology since the above numbers indicated that he has something wrong with his heart!
Having done a participant observation of him in Indonesia and other parts of the world, I can tell you, the secrets of his extreme good health
Every morning, he wakes up at 6 am and by 6 30 am is at the lakeside near his home for his morning exercises. Any body from his staff (he has a staff of about 150 in various enterprises) is welcome to join him, but usually about 10 are present. Those who wish to  bicycle with him up the hill to the mountain, a distance of 16 km away, are welcome. (he provides them with bicycles of the latest sports variety costing thousands of dollars and appropriate shoes and clothes). His team of bicyclists usually win local competition and I was with them when they won the Duathlon in Singapore in the Asian Category. I have seen them in action in Bali also.
By 8 am, he is back at the office, depending upon the weather and the duration of exercise and the type of exercise. Many a days it is just a few miles of jogging around the lake.
when we get back to his office, he prepares a Nespresso (what else? for me and whoever wants it) and then a healthy asian breakfast is consumed. His staff who participated with him share the meal and the companionship. He considers exercise part of the employment and allows his staff to take up to 3 hours per day to do health related activities. Always he encourages them, sharing lunch and dinner with them most of the working days. The food is prepared fresh by one of his staff and is always healthy. There is no alcohol consumed, exceptionally late at night, when close friends are together, a beer or two consumed. His staff has a basketball team, which he supervises and also a swimming team, in which he participates. 
THE IMPORTANT FEATURE OF THIS MANS PARTICIPATION IN BETTER HEALTH IS THAT HE IS NOT SELFISH.. he allows others to participates and facilitates them to participate
I asked him: are you doing all these for your staff because you want them to be productive?
No sir, he said, I just want them to be happy!
On my multiple visits to Bogor to see him (this year alone I have seen him four times), I have noticed that his staff are attentive and courteous and most of the senior staff has been with him for years!

Healthy Aging:
A large study from Europe in which they followed hundreds and thousands of people and studied their aging patterns, Exercising and Not smoking featured predominantly. I would add to that food which is natural (France Switzerland and Nederlands scored higher).

As an anthropologist, I can assure you that if you just exercised and ate well and you did not follow the patterns of thinking of a kind and good person, the stressful life would override the benefits of exercise and eating well.

Practice Compassion, which will lead to your happiness and also the happiness of those around you.
Practice Mindfulness, in which you are enjoying the present moment 

My friend from Bogor is a good example of a person who practices compassion and mindfulness(which seems to come to him naturally) and also exercises, eats well and does not smoke.
He does not need a trainer, he does not need to take bioidential hormones, he does not have to pay doctors thousands of dollars for their counsel to exercise and hormonal therapy.

This is truly a mind body soul approach to good health.
Recently on arriving at the Los Angeles International Airport with his 17 year old daughter, the Immigration officer asked him daughter: is he your husband? 

we all had a laugh about it ..
Good luck, my best friend in Asia, thank you for your friendship, keep well and may we meet again soon..