Have you seen the Stand Up Challenge video that went viral recently? 

I watched as many of my friends - and even their parents and children –put up videos online where they confidently crossed their arms, raised one leg and then stood up from their seated position using the other leg. 

The irony? For a guy like me who is known for standing out from a crowd in all my avatars (as a blogger, a doctor and an author), this was a challenge where I couldn't stand UP

We lose around eight percent of our muscle mass every decade after we reach our late thirties.


I failed 11 out of 12 times and barely - BARELY - managed the last time as you can see in the video below. 


This isn't something to be proud of. 

This is a wakeup call for me. Like so many others, I too am guilty of neglecting my own health, using the standard excuses including the need to just relax and enjoy my food without feeling guilty after a long day's work at the hospital. The reality is that in racking my brain healing others, I am not doing enough for my own body and the warning signs have started to show already. Unless I accept it and start making changes, I am staring at a future where I will struggle to walk straight two decades from now. 

This is not rhetoric. We lose around eight percent of our muscle mass every decade after we reach our late thirties. 


Life will move forward irrespective of whatever happens… but what if I cannot move forward at all?


Busy lifestyle health goals are something not just I but all of us need to incorporate into our lives - accepting that work will take its toll on you but not allowing it to make you forget the warning cry of your own body. 

So what do I have in store for myself as the year winds down to slow down the loss of muscle mass? 
  • A better exercise pattern which includes making achievable goals and tracking my progress on a daily basis, 
  • Altering my food habits, 
  • Making some time for compulsory stress free moments every day. Because mental health matters too.

It isn't easy. I know that. Making the change from a predominantly sedentary life to an energetic active life takes time. I can definitely at least begin by incorporating desirable food changes including a healthier ratio between proteins and fats/carbohydrates and even adding some vitamin and mineral rich protein supplements like Ensure to my daily regimen.

I may fail initially in my goals. That is just the way life is. But just like in my #StandUpChallenge video above, I will succeed eventually.  

Have you tried the challenge yet? Do it now. No, really. Just sit down, cross your arms and try it out. Let me know how you fare. 

Take this easy Stand Up Challenge today. If you can't do it, it is time to make some lifestyle modifications.

25 Comments

  1. I could do it, though more easily with the right leg than the left leg.Does that mean anything?

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  2. WhiteangelbirdAugust 03, 2019

    Quite an interesting way to test muscle strength. I don't fall under overweight category yet it took me 4-5 tries after wobbling and dangling to finally do it. Still wondering if it's just the practice or weak muscle.

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  3. I could do it but my cousin's couldn't...now they are scared.

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  4. Hemant ChabariyaAugust 03, 2019

    Is it related to weight? Like being thin or fat make a difference?

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  5. Ankit DixitAugust 03, 2019

    Thanks for the article. I didn't realize how scary it could be of not being able to walk in future.

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  6. @Anaea, could be a mild difference of muscle mass though its good you can do it.

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  7. @WhiteAngelBird, I dont think it is about practise. Most people will wobble a bit while doing it. The fact that you succeeded is awesome.

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  8. @Unknown, ask them to check the Ensure video at the link of the start of the post... a real eye opener

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  9. @hemant, while being fat can make it tougher, it comes down to muscle mass actually.

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  10. @Ankit, hope it does the same to others too. people need to really consider health modifications.

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  11. I learnt it the hard way that health is wealth. But when sense prevails you need to do something about it. I'm battling hormones so it is twice as tough for me but I'm not giving up!

    The Standup Challenge was easy for me, but it was interesting to see how each one fared. I'm glad it made us take a closer look at fitness. They should make this a monthly feature now so that everyone can measure their improvements.

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  12. @soumya, most of the blogger gang did quite well in this challenge. So too most of the doctors who responded back to this video. While thats great for everyone, does make me all the more tense for myself.

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  13. I was able to do it fairly easily standing on my right leg, but left leg was difficult and that was expected as I had fallen multiple times and twisted my left ankle all those times. Plus, I have a bad back with degenerative disc disease. So I make it a point to walk and practice yoga everyday so as not to end up in a wheel chair this early. This is a very informative article, Roshan. Now you upload a video where you are doing the #standupchallenge with ease after making changes in your lifestyle -a before and after video. 😀

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  14. Oh dear god this was tough to do and like many have said here, easier with the right than the left leg.

    I was diagnosed with very acute Thyroid in 2017 and since then been battling a whole plethora of health issues. It was my wake up call and have been trying to get fitter and healthier since the.

    I have good days and bad days but the key thing is that I am working on my health and fitness - I needed the wakeup call as I get lazy and wasnt really working out or anything at all

    Now I know better - hope you get on track and do take care of your health in a serious way

    Thanks for sharing this Doc

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  15. You know already I couldn't do it. Over the last few years I've just been careless with my exercise and diet and it's showing pretty pathetically. Also, with age I find I cannot exercise as I once used to. So diet has to be the focus and that's hard.
    Good luck with your healthwatch. I hope you find a schedule that's not punishing yet yields decent results.

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  16. Hey we all start somewhere. Here's to an exciting journey towards better health. You stand out everywhere, you will stand out here too ��

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  17. Roshan, you did it after a few failed attempts proving the saying, try, try and you will succeed :) I managed to do it but was happy with the effort I'd to put in. Will try after a month of regular gymming. I was on a holiday in July celebrating my grandson's first birthday. The celebrations added a few pounds to my frame :) I will share my next standupchallenge video for sure. Best of luck to all of us who struggled.

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  18. @Vinita, lovely to see you could manage. I sincerely hope i can do so more easily by the end of the year.

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  19. Shalz, I've had a few reality checks too. Need to stop being so complacent and incorporate things that make an actual difference.

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  20. Obsessive Mom, I think it's time to take some hard calls... The possibility of not being able to walk in the future is too scary to ignore

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  21. Raj lakshmi, this would be a lovely place to make a name for me.. Weight loss and fitness.

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  22. Sulekka, I've seen you work on your fitness so am sure you'll succeed easily in the near future.

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  23. very nice article good work keep it up

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  24. Nice thing is that you did not gave up after failing 11 times. Nice learning from after reading your article.

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  25. Firstly I would really like to appreciate you for trying again and again. I am sure you might have tried for the 13th and 14th time as well. Sometimes we have so many expectations that we fail to deliver but keeping the 'Josh High" for all the attempts it important. Also, a fall is necessary at times so that we can fly again..
    #TuggunmommyReads #MyFriendAlexa #Blogchatter

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So what do you think ?