As parents, you always want the best for your kids. Each parent has different dreams with respect to their children’s career. Some may want their kids to be doctors, others want them to choose science, others want them to be musician, and yet others may want them to make their named in the field of music.
But there is one thing common among all parents. Everyone wants their children to be fit and healthy, throughout life. Because only a fit body can have a fit mind.
Chronic sickness of any kind is back breaking, both for the person suffering and their family. It puts tremendous amount of psychological, physiological and financial strain on the entire family.
And for youngsters to focus on their careers and handle the physical and mental pressures of life, they must be fit and healthy.
But doesn’t this rule apply to parents as well. In fact, much more than their kids.
Unlike the western nations, Indian parents in their old age aren’t taken care of by the government. It’s their family which takes care of them. This has been a cultural practice since thousands of years in India, and it’s not just a duty, but an established law, for the child to take care of their ageing parents.
But as the age sets in, most bodily functions start deteriorating. This is a natural process. For e.g.:
- The cardiovascular system changes. The blood vessels and arteries start stiffening, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood. As a result, chances of hypertension and other heart ailments increase.
- Bone density starts decreasing, making elderly more susceptible to osteoporosis and a result fracture.
- Sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass sets in. With age muscle size and strength reduces, which effects your coordination, balance and your joints
- Other than that, changes in the urinary tract, brain function, digestive processes, vision and hearing, sexual functions, immune system etc. all start declining.
But with correct habits and lifestyle, most of these declines can be arrested to a great extent. Their progress can be slowed down to a level, where you can have a wonderful quality of life, till the last day of your life.
And we all know that with:
- regular exercise, which includes strength training, endurance and flexibility training;
- proper diet, taking care of both macros and micros, and using whole natural foods along with necessary supplements.
- Taking proper sleep, both in terms of sleep quality and quantity.
- Managing stress of various kinds.
- Being more active and social. And being more positive and happier, overall.
But, just like your children have a moral duty towards you, you also have a moral obligation towards your children. Here are the reasons why:
- If you do not take care of yourself in the older age, you have much higher chances of developing a chronic medical issue. And with age, the recovery processes slow down tremendously. You won’t recover from an illness, as fast as your young kids would. Your overall quality of life will go down.
- When a senior person in the family is suffering from a chronic illness, it puts a huge amount of financial pressure on the bread winner of the family. At that age, your children should be focusing on progressing in their chosen career, getting married, and establishing a future for their wives and children. Mounting insurance payments, medical bills, travel costs to the hospitals etc.
- A young person who is trying to establish himself, is already under a lot of work stress. When a senior individual is chronically ill in the family, the children have to devote a lot of time and resources towards them. This is a huge add on stress, because of which many young individuals start suffering from depression and anxiety issues.
- Time is something, we can’t buy back. And with prolonged medical treatment of a family member, the person taking care, loses a lot of precious time of their own lives. This time could be spent on their own career progression, their overall health and fitness, or some leisure activity, which all of us deserve.
I have had many clients, who are battling on multiple fronts, and have literally compromised their own happiness for the sake of their family.
Therefore, I request all the parents to please take care of their own health, and remain fit and disease-free, by following a disciplined lifestyle. It’s for the good for both you and your family.