My parents decided to get fit in their 50s by watching YouTube videos and making homemade salads… and it actually worked
Graphics by Marian Hukom
“Are you sure it’s pointing there? Not the middle?”
The weighing scale pointed to another kilo lost and my mom rejoiced. Meanwhile, my dad is searching YouTube for the next indoor exercise video they’ll watch. This was how mornings with them usually start. But it wasn’t always like this. Suddenly, in their 50-somethings, my parents decided they were sick of getting sick.
Before, weekends for my parents meant going to the clinic and getting their routine checkup. Every single time, they’d come home with a new set of pills prescribed by the doctor. The medicine was then listed down by my mom (who was already friends with the pharmacist). One day, they decided enough was enough. With their kids already put through college and working, they set out a plan to reclaim their health.
However, my parents aren’t entirely boycotting their prescriptions or appointments. The plan was recommended by their doctor and they still do maintenance treatment. But this time, they’ll put in more of their own effort. Here’s how they did it:
First came the research. My dad looked for recipes on YouTube that will work for them and to their surprise, it actually did. To kickstart their fitness journey, my parents started with a three-day egg diet, following a video by Bright Side. The video starts with facts you need to know and a specific menu for each day.
Along with this, they had morning walking exercises. They had to walk a mile or take at least 10,000 steps. An indoor alternative was aerobics exercise. Afterwards, the three-day diet took effect. Hunger spikes at first, but soon they got used to it and felt lighter. Their mind and breathing were clearer. Meanwhile, the exercise made them more alert and active.
After the three-day diet, they still maintained a healthy meal plan. Of course, no junk food, soda, fast food, and the like. It consisted of green recipes such as chicken cucumber avocado salad, chickpea and tuna salad, hard boiled egg and avocado salad, boiled banana, and quinoa salad. However, they permit themselves cheat days at least twice a month.
After walking 10,000 steps in the morning, my parents would come home and do more exercises. They’d set up the computer and play two videos. First is the 1 Mile Happy Walk, an indoor exercise program that runs for 15 minutes. Aside from reaching a mile, they added exercises such as side-steps, kicks, and knee lifts.
Another video was the 7 Day – 7 Minute Workout Challenge by Lucy Wyndham-Read. Of course, being the hardcore folks that they are, seven days weren’t enough for them as they made it a routine. However, this workout was more intense so they didn’t follow it religiously.
After implementing this game plan, my parents have seen notable changes in their lives. They no longer crave rice or junk food, they’re more active in thought and movement, and most importantly, their old clothes fit them now. Wardrobe aside, their fitness journey really took them to different heights (in their 50s!). Being a witness to this change, I salute them. From scouring the internet to cooking new recipes, it was all new to them, but they embraced it and their determination brought a huge change to their health. They committed themselves to this new lifestyle and showed it’s never too late to start. How? You can start by making a choice. And just like my dad always says, “Make the healthy choice.”