Life is NOT merely living, BUT living in health.
This tag line is the motivation behind what I do today. I have taken it up as a mission to motivate and guide people to lead healthy lifestyles to provide them freedom from a life of protected ill health, improve quality of life and achieve healthy ageing. If you are looking to keep your health, you are at the right place. To get my latest posts, please subscribe to my blog via email, on the link given.
I am a medical doctor (MBBS) who specialises in sports medicine (PG Diploma in Sports Medicine). Furthermore, I am a Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician (Diplomate International Board of Lifestyle Medicine) and SCOPE certified by the World Obesity Federation in obesity management.
I am very passionate about practicing lifestyle medicine. When I look back at my life’s course, I can trace the genesis to my early childhood. I am aluminous of Rashtriya Military School, Ajmer (RJ), India. Subsequently went to study medicine at one of India’s top medical colleges, the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune (MH). After completing my MBBS in 1987, I joined the Indian Army. As a result, I have led a physically active lifestyle all along, starting from my early school days, and participated and won in competitive sports at various levels, including All India Inter-University championships, Senior National championships and Inter-Services (between different Services of the Armed Forces of India) championships.
Accordingly, sports medicine was a natural choice for my post-graduation. After completing my PG Diploma in Sports Medicine in 1995, I established and worked in various sports medicine centres of the Indian army for more than a decade. As clinical sports medicine also deals with exercise in health and disease, besides the athletes, I also advised other soldiers and their families on the importance of leading physically active lifestyles. As I found that the prevalence of various risk factors and lifestyle-related diseases was pretty high in this population, I decided to undertake a 2-year research project under the auspices of the Armed Forces Medical Research Committee to ‘study the fitness status and prevalence of risk factors for lifestyle diseases in the troops in the station and correlation between the two. I also examined the impact of lifestyle modification on fitness status and lifestyle diseases/risk factors for these diseases.
Surprisingly, compared to the civilian populations, the prevalence rates for most of the risk factors in the study population were either similar or only marginally lower. However, an encouraging finding was that focusing on lifestyle interventions, including dietary modifications, significantly improved these risk factors. I can call these two years the beginning of my journey in lifestyle medicine. I went through a lot of literature to gain further knowledge. Along this journey, I also learnt about the unprecedented set of challenges arising from rapid population ageing worldwide. The underlying factors in lifestyle- and age-related diseases were unhealthy lifestyles. Accordingly, lifestyle interventions are the primary modality to prevent and manage these health challenges. Importantly these interventions need to be implemented from the early stages and followed till the end. I like to call this healthy ageing – a journey from womb to tomb.
To sharpen my skills, I earned additional qualifications related to lifestyle medicine with a particular focus on obesity, labelled as the mother of all diseases. In 2017 I attended an Obesity Management Workshop for Health Professionals conducted by the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Subsequently, I was SCOPE certified by the World Obesity Federation in obesity management. In due course, I was Board certified in Lifestyle Medicine.
This unique combination of academic qualifications and participation in competitive sports has provided me with in-depth knowledge and understanding of lifestyle interventions that provide freedom from a life of protracted ill-health, improve quality of life, and achieve healthy ageing (Add YEARS to life and LIFE to years). Thus, establishing myself as trusted health, wellness, and fitness expert.
To save humanity from the biggest scourge of modern times – the lifestyle disease pandemic and the unprecedented set of challenges arising from the rapid population ageing around the world, urgent steps need to be taken to transform people’s lifestyles through health behaviour modifications. Even in very advanced years, physical activity and good nutrition have been shown to have powerful benefits for health and well being. In the Chinese system of medicine, “the great doctor is one who treats not someone who is already ill but someone not yet ill.” Healthy lifestyles can provide freedom from a life of protracted ill-health, improve quality of life and achieve healthy ageing. My post titled Healthy Ageing – Adding Years to Life and Life to Years, discusses the journey of healthy ageing from womb-to-tomb. Thomas Edison said – “the doctor of the future will give no medication but will interest his patients in care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Today his prophecy has turned out to be true. In my post Exercise is Medicine I have discussed the role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of various health conditions. In another post, Food as Medicine, I have similarly discussed in detail the role of food in health and disease.
In due course, a significant realisation dawned on me. During my undergraduate medical education, I was not taught anything about lifestyle interventions, critical to preventing and managing lifestyle-related diseases. Unfortunately, despite lifestyle diseases accounting for almost three-fourths of the total deaths globally, the curriculum in medical schools the world over do not teach anything about lifestyle interventions. Instead, students are being taught the proverbial mopping the floor rather than turning off the tap. This motivated me to share my experiences and knowledge gained over the years in the form of a book. Given the magnitude of the problem and the lack of teaching in medical schools, both the healthcare professionals and the people at large need to be educated on the subject. It is believed that a knowledge of the different lifestyle and age-related conditions, their implications and lifestyle interventions to prevent these will ensure greater ‘prescription’ of the lifestyle interventions by the physicians and greater participation and better compliance by the individuals. Accordingly, the book is planned to be published in two versions – one for the health professionals and the other for the public.
My thirst for personal growth and to make a difference in the lives of a maximum number of people by empowering them with personal health continues. In the interim, I started writing this blog to reach a maximum number of people. After I have published my books, I plan to start a TV channel to extend my reach to the masses further. Simultaneously, I plan to start a chain of Wellness Centres and Resorts to provide access to the right kind of facilities and environment to help people experience the benefits of healthy lifestyles.
In today’s time, everyone seems to be busy pursuing materialistic goals. Unfortunately, in the process, the thing most compromised is personal health. Health is wealth is an old adage. Unfortunately, the value of health is not appreciated until we are overtaken by ill health. Remember, you can’t enjoy your wealth if you are not in good health; you may have some of the most luxurious and expensive cars lined up in your garage; however, if you suffer from poor health, most of the time, you might be travelling by ambulances or in wheelchairs. Living healthy should never be an option; it should be a natural choice. This can be achieved by exercising your ‘power of choice’: choose wellness-oriented lifestyles, positive thoughts and attitudes, love and compassion, time to be quiet and reflect, forgive and let go. Holistic health is a way of life – choose well to live well. So, commit to healthy lifestyles, and we will help you find your way.
My major achievements in various spheres of life are listed here briefly.
MAJOR SPORTS ACHIEVEMENTS
Since my school days, I have participated in and won several sports tournaments. It helped to grow and nurture my physical and mental health. My major sports achievements are as under:
- Won the “Mr AFMC” title for three consecutive years (AFMC~Armed Forces Medical College)
- Represented University of Poona in ‘Best Physique’ & ‘Weightlifting’ at All India Inter-University Championship at Mysore – 1986-87. Won IV position in Best Physique.
- “Maharashtra Shree 1985” Best Physique Contest – won IIIrd position.
- Pune District Weightlifting Championship 1985 – won IIIrd position
- Represented the state of Uttar Pradesh at the ’25th Senior National Body-Building championship 1986.’ held at Chennai.
- Western Command Best Physique contest – 1991 – won Ist position; I captained the Western Command Best Physique team at the ‘Inter-Services Best Physique’ competition – 1991.
- Western Command Best Physique contest – 1992 – won IIIrd position.
- Awarded ‘College Colours’ in Weightlifting – 1985-86.
- Awarded ‘College Blues’ in Weightlifting – 1986-87.
- Awarded ‘Best Sportsman’ trophy of Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, for two consecutive years –1985-86 & 1986-87.
Under the auspices of ‘The Armed Forces Medical Research Committee’ (Sponsored by the Defence Research and Development Organisation [DRDO]), I conducted two research projects as Principal Worker.
Does Ultrasound Therapy Expedite the Healing Process in Stress Fractures Enabling Early Return To Training?
The results of this study and various other studies have proved quite convincingly that ultrasound therapy promotes the healing of stress fractures and significantly reduces the time required to return to training, thus saving the lost number of manpower days.
A study of the fitness status and prevalence of lifestyle diseases in the troops in the station and the correlation between the two. Also, to study the impact of lifestyle modification on fitness status and lifestyle diseases.
The study’s findings conclusively demonstrated that the lifestyle interventions involving healthful eating and regular physical activity resulted in significant improvement in the risk factor profile of the study subjects. This is expected to prevent or delay the onset of various lifestyle-related diseases.
In the International Conferences: 12th Asian Federation of Sports Medicine Congress:
- I presented a paper on the Prevalence rate of Lifestyle diseases in the Armed Forces.
- At the main congress, I gave a presentation on the prevention of Lifestyle Diseases.
In the National Conferences: Multiple paper presentations made.
Under the auspices of Army Training Command, and in collaboration with ‘Armed Forces Film & Photo Division,’ Min of Defence, New Delhi, produced two training films
(a) Stress Fractures in Armed Forces – Management Protocol
(b) Talent Identification and Monitoring for Sports
MEDICAL COVER FOR SPORTS TOURNAMENTS
- Member of the “Anti-Dope Commission” for the Punjab National Games, Dec 2001
- Dope Control Officer, 51st Inter-Services Weightlifting Championship held at 3 BRD, Air Force, Chandigarh, Dec 2007
- Dope Control Officer, 52nd Inter-Services Weightlifting Championship held at 1 STC, Jabalpur, Dec 2008
- Member Medical Commission, Boxing, 42nd Youth National Boxing Championship, Coimbatore (TN), Jun 2009
- Member Medical Commission, Boxing. 4th Junior National Women Boxing Championship, Patna (Bihar), Nov 2009
- Member Boxing Medical Commission, III Commonwealth Youth Games Pune, 2008
- Team Physician, Indian Athletics Contingent, Member Medical Commission, Boxing, 4th CISM Military World Games, Hyderabad, 2007