Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Fit At Any Age-A Practitioner's Guide: Air Marshal PV Iyer's book offers an uncomplicated insight to getting fit

The book highlights the races humans can participate in or be a part of, advocates for vegetarianism, how good health is developed, and more

Published: Apr 19, 2023 02:24:00 PM IST
Updated: Apr 19, 2023 03:51:10 PM IST

Fit At Any Age-A Practitioner's Guide: Air Marshal PV Iyer's book offers an uncomplicated insight to getting fitThere is a heartening endorsement for the reading habit and its contribution to the body-mind balance, which cannot be emphasised enough. Any impairment in mental health will have an adverse impact on physical health, writes Air Marshal PV Iyer. Image: Amazon

On the back cover of this 172 page book, Rahul Dravid writes, “Air Marshall Iyer paints a very transparent picture about how the road map to being a mentally and physically fit person doesn't have to be very complicated.”

In fact, nothing about this book is complicated. People say that KBC is a successful show because the host, Amitabh Bachchan, wants you to win! In a similar vein, this book is about wanting you to succeed and Air Marshal P V Iyer’s tone is helpful and friendly. He’s 92 years old and that definitely helps. He simplifies ‘fitness’ as a combination of ‘what a person can do, how much physical load he or she can take and how much stress he or she can endure.”

Here are our Bookstrapping insights:


1. I had never thought of human beings as supreme athletes. But taking the reference of a heptathlon, the author explains how across seven races like running, shot put, jumping, swimming etc; animals like cheetahs and monkeys would only be able to perform well in some of them. Only a human can take part in all the races. I had never thought of that.

2. The capacity of ultra marathoners to go on for days without stopping, thanks to the specialised sweat glands, is another reference that makes you wonder about the potential of the human body.

3. Your health today is dependent on what you have been doing for the last three months. For example, you used to exercise regularly and were super fit; but if you have to discontinue because of an illness or injury for three months - you are back to square one - like a person who has never exercised!

4. There is a heartening endorsement for the reading habit and its contribution to the body-mind balance, which cannot be emphasised enough. Any impairment in mental health will have an adverse impact on physical health.

Also read: World Health Day: A call to pay attention to our tribal population

5. In a very matter of fact way, the author advocates for vegetarianism to avoid toxic decomposition of non-veg food during digestion. He also says 'eat less' in no uncertain terms.

I got to know of the book through Akshay Kumar’s Instagram post in which he wrote, “If I could have only one blessing in life, it would be ‘fit at any age’. Akshay himself is famously known to advocate not eating after 6:30 pm.

Then I came across a tweet by PM Modi that featured a picture of him receiving a copy of the book from the author and the words,“ his zest for life is remarkable.’ The appendix in which the author demonstrates exercise is truly the most heartwarming feature of the book.

There is an authenticity and integrity to this work. You too can start with a small workout and see where it takes you.

Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta is a columnist and bestselling biographer. She is credited with the internationally acclaimed Red Dot Experiment, a decadal six-nation study on how ‘culture impacts communication.’ On instagram @officialReetaGupta