Thursday, April 7, 2011

a prize for [writing about] walking..

Today is World Health Day!

for a contest organized by the wellness council @ the office, i wrote this piece while waitig for other to join a conference call..

not sure how many entries were received by the organizers, my entry was chosen to be one of five winning entries..


I shall not respond to any queries related to how much of this is fact…

if you decide to jump to conclusions, maybe it is good for your health on this world health day..


I like to walk.

Even as a child, my mother used to say that I would convince her that we should walk, rather than take a rickshaw – and use that money – to buy some biscuits or juice that I could have while walking!

As we watch babies grow, it is always a very special moment to see a child standing up and taking the first step! That is the first sign of growing up and standing on one’s own feet and becoming mobile. It increases the confidence of the child and everyone around too!

While I enjoyed walking, particularly with bare feet sinking in the sands of Marina beach, it became a serious activity soon after I discovered that my cholesterol levels were high. The doctor was surprised to see that though the rations were high, the good cholesterol [HDL] levels were also high – higher than the normal expectation.

When I told him that I like and do walk regularly, he asked me to continue that practice. From that time, I try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day.

A few years ago, I used to walk at the Lalbagh gardens in Bangalore with a few friends and their families every weekend. Since that was limited to weekends – and also required some commute to get to Lalbagh, I was looking for other options. When we moved to the flat where I stay at present, the ‘mini forest’ close by became a convenient path for a walk.

An old saying goes – sit a while after supper; walk a mile after dinner. This walking would be more of a leisurely stroll, as it is not advisable to walk briskly after a [heavy] meal – as the body needs the energy to digest the food consumed.

Walking as an exercise has to be more aerobic. The action of walking with swinging arms and keeping a steady pace improves the blood circulation and also regulates breathing.

Breath control is a technique that many yoga schools also recommend. The side benefit of breath control is to have your pulse rate also low! This is something quite normal for athletes. They need to conserve their body energy to peak at the precise moment they need additional energy to push themselves higher or faster or farther.

Walking every morning is one of the best exercises one can get. It is advisable to walk at least for half an hour every morning. Studies show that walking has a positive effect on problems related to high sugar levels [diabetes] as well as high cholesterol levels.

If you are not able to walk any day, try to make up for it by climbing stairs. Someone told me once that ‘your health can be assessed by what you take two at a time. Steps – or tablets!’ from the time I heard it, I have been trying to take two steps at a time.

Our flat is on the 4th level – and we are probably the only family in the building that takes the steps most of the time.

I am happy to see many colleagues take the stairs to get to work in the morning or to the cafeteria in the afternoon.

Now, are you enthused enough to start walking?

This page can be your starting page to get some basic concepts.

See you soon on the stairs in Surya Sapphire – or if you walk in the mornings, at JP Nagar Mini Forest! If there are sufficient enthusiasts, we can start a walking club – to explore electronics city and the neighborhood during lunch hours!

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