The other day I received a phone call from an old friend of mine after quite a long time. Old in the sense that we know each other for the past over four decades. But it is also in the context that he is now 92 years of age.
He has the same clarity and vigour in his voice as ever before, good hearing and an excellent memory. All these signs reflected while conversing with him. In his astute expressions, his mental alertness is still sharp.
Mr. Singh still goes for walks, and at least once a week hits the golf course. The testimony to his exceptional health at this senior golden age is that he does not take any of those medicines often related to old age. Cholesterol, diabetes, knee problem, etc. have bypassed him.
It is under one medical term, called circadian rhythm. And Mr. Singh has kept it well under control with his disciplined daily regime.
A real understanding of the circadian rhythm is that all our body organs, down to their cellular levels, have body clocks working along with the brain. Together, the working of all theses body clocks is in coordination to create the circadian rhythm.
“Circadian rhythm is the natural, internal process that regulates our sleep-wake cycle over a 24-hour period. Not only does our circadian rhythm make us feel tired at night and alert during the day, it also regulates the timing of the body’s processes – including digestion, metabolism, and appetite regulation – by secreting certain hormones based on what and when we eat, our physical activity and time of day,” according to Dr. Alex Johnstone, and Leonie Ruddick-Collins, both from the University of Aberdeen, in The Conversation.
A synchronized circadian rhythm of every part of the body, especially the lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain, goes well without any compromise. The entire process, when settles down to set routine is the circadian rhythm that is not only beneficial to our overall health but most important in developing a robust immune system.
The boosting of the immune system is very vital, especially when we are facing the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus. And if this body clock rhythm is not put in place or being disturbed, our health problems start kicking in along with a weak immune system.
Specialists in the field of circadian rhythm emphasize a regular and systematic pattern of good sleep, exercise, and diet. The exact timing, duration, and disciplined, healthy living day in and day out is what we need to develop a robust immune system.
Mr. Singh listens to his body clock, religiously every moment of his life. Talking to him has always been very meaningful and knowledgeable.
One of these days, when this social-distancing restraint is over, I’m going to meet him. It certainly would be an inspirational meeting as well as to revive our chess sessions with a glass of Scotch on the side, that he still enjoys every day.
By Promod Puri