Category: Fitness

Who is Fauja Singh?

The Inspirational Marathon Runner Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh is a remarkable person and someone who is a living example of what a healthy mindset and healthy lifestyle can do. He currently holds many records for his running. So, what makes him remarkable? Well, he is currently 106 years old, and he completed marathons when he was over 100 years old! Just a few weeks before he reached 102, he completed the Hong Kong Marathon.

Fauja Singh

I’ve been following Fauja Singh for quite a few years. I first saw him on a TV Documentary when he took part in the London Marathon. On there, he described his diet, and it’s clear that he’s been practicing calorie restriction for many years. On Wikipedia it says that Mr Singh is 5 ft 8″ tall and weighs just 115 lbs. So he is very lean, but this is probably a result of expending lots of energy running and aging itself, not just CR.

It’s been shown in rodents and rhesus monkeys that a CR diet preserves muscle mass and function with age. Also, in biopsies taken from people practicing long term calorie restriction (age 58 ± 7.4), gene expression profile of their muscles was found to be more similar to 30 year old controls. Big muscles require more calories, which accelerates ageing. CR does decrease muscle mass a little (depends on severity of restriction), but it preserves the muscles you have and its function for decades longer.

Fauja Singh believes that the reason he has lived so long is because he also abstains from both smoking and alcohol, and he follows a vegetarian diet. He mentions that he has been very careful with his diet over the years. He says that he limits his food intake by eating half a normal portion of food.

Here we have a great example to follow. I personally do not drink alcohol, I’ve never smoked, and for most of my life I’ve been active. I’ve also been vegetarian since 2007 and ‘mostly’ vegan since 2012, and will continue continue to eat this way for health and ethical reasons. I hope I can be in as good shape as he is when I reach that age. Actually, I hope to reach the 22nd century! 🙂 By then, I think it’s very possible we’ll have ways to reverse ageing.

Many people today in their 60s and 70s are not able to do what this man has accomplished, but I think that more people could, if they followed this way of life. Some people say: “it’s genes” and then forget about it. I think people underestimate how much of an impact diet and exercise can have. You have to remember that the choices you make today are important for your health decades from now. Make the right choices.

I recommend checking out and joining his Facebook page to keep up to date with what he’s up to.

Here’s a clip from that BBC Documentary I watched years ago, enjoy.

 

 

Calorie restriction in humans inhibits the PI3K/AKT pathway and induces a younger transcription profile

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714316/

My Journey To Peak Fitness

Never Neglect Physical Fitness

 

One area that I’ve neglected in my lifestyle is fitness. You’d think that I would find it easy to get into a routine where I’d keep up a training routine, but this hasn’t been the case. You know how it is right? The thought of getting out when it’s cold outside in the morning to begin your run is as far as you get before you utter the words “I’ll start tomorrow.”  I did that for a few days!  But then around the beginning of April I made a decision, set a goal, and got out the door at 5 am to begin my early morning run.

So anyway,  as I stepped out the door, set the timer, and thought to myself  “this is going to be easy.”

I ran to the park, so far so good, I thought. As I step it up a bit, trying to complete the run in a fast time, my muscles started to burn, I was struggling to get in enough air to carry on going . . . And then  I stop. And then start again. And then stop.  And start again. This went on the entire run until I finished.

Wow!  How unfit I felt! How could I let myself become so unfit like this?

I am at a very healthy weight.  I have a very healthy blood pressure and very good blood results, but my fitness sucked.

I realised that this had to change. I had been fit almost my entire life, but had let it go. I used to run home from school often, which was about 3 miles. I also played a lot of football which kept me at peak fitness.

At least 5 days each week, no matter what the weather is like, I force myself out the door to go for a run. It’s getting started that’s the hard part. When you’re in the middle of the run you feel good. When you finish, you feel amazing!  Before I get out the door, I start my morning with a couple cups of mint tea which opens up the airways and is great for your breathing. I eat a bit of licorice , and maybe eat half or a whole small banana. It only takes me about 20 minutes from the moment I wake up to get myself out of the door.

Things I noticed over the weeks

  • I feel so alive and happy after each run!
  • My sleep quality improved and I’ve been able to maintain a very good sleeping pattern
  • After each run I noticed a nice “glow” when I looked in the mirror.
  • I feel that I have more energy (exercise increases the number of mitochondria in your cells)
  • It helps me concentrate better and gives me better clarity or focus to take on the challenges of the day

It’s also just so nice to get out in the morning. It’s such a peaceful and beautiful time.  Just me and the birds. 🙂  I’ve actually grown to really enjoy it and look forward to running!  And what a difference 6 weeks makes! Although I still have some ways to go, I can see a dramatic improvement. My pace has picked up and I’m no longer having to stop frequently just to catch my breath. Every time I go out I push myself just a little bit further. I’ve noticed that it’s best not to pA9R9dOvCYAIG0XMay too much attention to the changes over a period of days because it seems like you’re getting nowhere. But when you look at week to week, there’s definitely big improvements.

I’ll definitely keep this going!  At the moment I’m running between 10 to 12 miles per week. According to studies, this also happens to be the optimal distance for the best health.  Running very long distances can damage health (see the video posted).

So the question I’ve been asking myself: Should I run the half marathon this year in October?

I’ll be looking to buy a device soon so I can begin to track my running and improvements in speed & time. I’ll share here in the future as I keep you updated. 🙂

 

 

1. James H O’Keefe1,2, Carl J Lavie3,4. Run for your life … at a comfortable speed and not too far
Heart doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302886