Sunday, 2 March 2014

The joy of Walking

Prakash Srinivasan

During our childhood all of us used to fulfill many of our daily tasks by walking or cycling. I spent most of my schooling years cycling to school and I remember my school’s cycle stand being full on almost all days. After two decades, the cyclist has become an extinct entity.
Our modern lifestyle has given us many comforts and today probably there are hundreds of brands of two-wheelers and cars that have flooded the Indian market. It’s surely a good sign but the problem is that it has now gone to another extreme. People have lost the art of walking and even a short distance of half-a-km is covered by a vehicle. The visit to the nearest grocery store is mostly through our two-wheeler and some even use their cars for such short distances.
By sheer luck or God’s grace, I fell in love with walking especially after settling down in Bangalore. My weekends are spent in walking and exploring places in the neighbourhood. My wife has also taken to my habit and both of us do our monthly and weekly errands by walking.
Many a time during the peak hours we overtake buses and keep moving on without worrying about stopping in scores of signals which are Red most of the time. The salubrious weather in Bangalore adds to the fun. Walking is almost like meditation for us. We walk at a comfortable pace and soak in the surroundings without worrying about time and deadlines. In fact, during our walks, we discover so many obscure and small places around us which heightens the overall experience. Walking also helps to admire and appreciate the greenery and is a sure stress buster. Every week, we try to increase our walking distance wherever possible so that we can take advantage of the benefits of this most simple and underrated exercise.
To speak in tangible terms, we also save money by avoiding an auto or a bus. Our carbon footprint is also positive as we are not using the gas guzzling vehicles. The best way to discover the heritage of a place is by walking and the more we walk, the more we believe in that. I feel people are missing out so much when they avoid walking. Of course, I do not say people must walk very long distances and tire themselves out but we all know what our walking stamina is. We always have the option of taking a juice or snack break!

Another beautiful aspect of walking is that it’s the easiest of all exercises and even an 80 year old can enjoy it without worrying about getting burned out. Many people spend the best time with their pets while walking. Walking also helps people bond with each other and it is as eco-friendly as it can get.

So why wait…let’s join the walking band wagon and appreciate the neighbourhood around us even as we burn those excess calories.

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