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HOW TO DIE YOUNG? - I (February, 2003)

How to die young, but …..
If God were to grant our prayers it is wise to pray : “God, let me die young, but as late as possible”.

To age gracefully, retaining one’s physical strength and mental acuity would be a good thing for all of us. Now that the average longevity of our population is going up, one would see more and more in their seventies and nineties with quite a few centurians too. As age advances, progressive wear and tear of all parts of the body and mind is but natural. But it is now possible to keep these natural degenerative changes to the barest minimum, if only we know how. Knowledge of how to achieve this and a little bit of persistent efforts and following some simple measures will pay rich dividends. We could, in addition give an Annual Maintainance Contract (AMC) of ourselves to our family physician or a Hospital.

Now let us go into more details under the following heads:

  • General body weight.
  • Diet.
  • Physical activity and exercise.
  • Medications.
  • Alcohol, smoking, tobacco chewing etc.
  • Working to earn.
  • Financial stability.
  • Spirituality,meditation etc.

Body Weight & You.

An old but well maintained truck carrying within its stipulated capacity would negotiate all types of roads- both smooth and rough , very well. If it were to be overloaded, the balance may be upset, there will be too much strain on the engine and all moving parts and chances of breakdown and even accident very likely. This situation is applicable to the human truck too! Anyone carrying excess baggage (or too little) is liable to get into problems in life.

It has been established that an obesce person is more likely to suffer from high blood cholesterol, high B.P., cardiac pain and heart attack, diabetes, arthritis and even some cancers. Such individuals also face more problems in many spheres of life. They carry far greater risks in many situations and also some technical problems and higher risks while undergoing any surgical operation too. One saving grace is that obesce individuals, in general, are genial in nature and ever smiling since they cannot run fast in case of a fight! Even grossly underweight individuals are also under more risk for some diseases. The following table, devised by LIC of India, gives normal body weight range for men and women according to height.

Standard Height and Weight for Indian Men & Women:

Height in Metre &(Feet/inches) Men (In Kgs) Women (In Kgs)
1.52 (5’ 0”) --- 50.8 to 54.4.
1.54 (5’ 1”) --- 51.7 to 55.3
1.57 (5’ 2”) 56.3 to 60.3 53.1 to 56.7.
1.60 (5’ 3”) 57.6 to 61.7 54.4 to 58.1.
1.63 (5’ 4”) 58.9 to 63.5 56.3 to 59.9.
1.65 (5’ 5”) 60.8 to 65.3 57.6 to 61.2.
1.68 (5’ 6”) 62.2 to 66.7 58.9 to 63.5.
1.70 (5’ 7”) 64.0 to 68.5 60.8 to 65.3.
1.73 (5’ 8”) 65.8 to 70.8 62.2 to 66.7.
1.75 (5’ 9”) 67.6 to 72.6 64.0 to 68.5.
1.78 (5’10”) 69.4 to 74.4. 65.8 to 70.3.
1.80 (5’11”) 71.2 to 76.2 67.1 to 71.7.
1.83 (6’ 0”) 73.0 to 78.5 68.5 to 73.9.
1.85 (6’ 1”) 75.3 to 80.7 ---
1.88 ( 6’2”) 77.6 to 83.5 ---
1.90 (6’ 3”) 79.8 to 85.7 ---

But, please be informed that it is not necessary to strictly adhere to the figures given above. Carrying a little extra or a little less weight which one feels comfortable with and which gives a “healthy” look is perfectly acceptable.

Weight control measures should be long term goals. Sudden crash weight loss regimes are not only harmful but also not sustainable over a long period of time. Watching one’s weight should start relatively early in life. Body weight can be kept in balance by a healthy mixture of diet, physical exercise and activity and in fact adopting a suitable life style. The best way is to permanently adopt a healthy and regular life style.

You have to put in some effort for maintaining your body weight and your own health!

Other aspects of “ageing gracefully & healthy” will be elaborated in our forthcoming newsletters.

Things to do :

  • Check your height and weight once in 6 months & keep a record.
  • If you are grossly overweight or underweight consult your family physician or suitable medical professional and slowly and in determined fashion adopt long term life style changes.
  • An annual or biannual “Comprehensive Health Check Up” after the age of 35 is a worthwhile measure to be followed by all.
  • Keep all your health records filed carefully and datewise.

Dr. M.Mohan Rao, MBBS,MS,FICS,MCH,

M.D. & Chief Surgeon, Dr. U Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital.


Updated on 01.02.2003.

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