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Walk To Your Health

Today I want to share with you my love for walking. That’s right! I love brisk walking. My love affair with walking began while in my teens when I was living in Mumbai. No school buses that dropped us at our doorstep; my brother and I had to do a rigorous climb of over 150 steps each way and a walk of nearly a kilometre from school to the bus stop and back every day. College entailed some steep walking as well. So, walking on the pavement and the roads at a pretty brisk pace was quite normal for me.

Morning Walk, Sankey Tank This habit of mine held me in great stead when we went to the US. I continued walking to every place. I walked until the  day before I went into labor for the first time. After my son was born, and we came to India, my hubby and I would lug his stroller and walk. A journey across cities, and we were in Bangalore with two kids. And, we continue to walk, every single day… well almost. I have never had a nanny, and I cook myself. In all the craziness of raising a family and a job, I did find time to keep walking. It was cathartic. It was fun. It was rejuvenating.

I have never been to a gym. Apart from some strength training and yoga off and on, walking sustains me. If I don’t walk a particular day, I feel I am missing something. Building pace over the years, I can now walk almost 5 kilometres in around 50 minutes. I can’t begin to tell you the benefits that I’ve experienced: better fitness, stamina, energy and flexibility among them. Walking helps lift my mood and also works well when I am tired. You heard right; sometimes tiredness, boredom and even pain go away after I go for my walk. Even after two kids, I have maintained a good body weight and shape. I weigh 54 kgs at 5’4”, which is just 3 kgs more than what I weighed 12 years back when I got married. I feel and look younger and healthier.

Some handy tips to stay regular:

Find a partner: My hubby and I have been at it for years now. I roped him in and got him hooked. Now, if one of us wishes to back out, the other one eggs her/him on. On the days when we are not together, music suffices.

Walk in a park: I despise a treadmill. It is monotonous and boring to me. I like to walk in the open where I can wave out to people, watch kids play, see greenery, flowers, and the change of seasons. The walk ends up being a stimulating experience.

Do it at the same time everyday: If you demarcate a time every day, then you will begin to feel the urge to go out and walk and small excuses will not come in the way. And, if you can’t do it for 5 days  a week, you will not get all its benefits. Just like you eat every day; it is important to do some physical activity most days.

Keep at it: Don’t expect miracles. Don’t be obsessed with weight loss. Do it in a sustained manner and aim to do it long term. You will notice subtle changes in your body, energy, and fitness as you go along. The benefits will happen slowly with time.

Keep track: Walking is not strolling. Brisk walking entails  keeping track of the time and distance that you walk every day. Your pace must be sustained and with time your pace will pick up. You should be able to carry on a conversation without feeling breathless with brisk walking. But, you will feel your body sweat. Any exercise is meant to make you work. And, walking together does not mean that you take breaks to chat. A quick hello should be fine.  Even better, take the person along with you. Remember once your body is warmed up, you don’t want it becoming cold by stopping.

Don’t walk on an empty stomach ever: Eat something: a banana, a handful of nuts, a glass of milk, or a couple of slices of bread half an hour before you set out. And, hydrate yourself adequately.

Morning Walkers' effort

The key to walking or any exercise lies in the regularity of it. Most people do intensive workouts for six months or a year solely with the aim of losing weight. Then they go off it and pile all the weight back on. Regularity is crucial. Fitness and health are a way of life. They must be your goals for a lifetime; not because you want a certain shape or size for now. That is where most women are losing the battle. Eating sensibly, nourishing your body, and giving it enough exercise are the only ways of keeping your body – that marvelous piece of machinery, well-oiled and in perfect condition.

Walking is gentler on your joints, works well for the young and the old, and is really amongst the easiest exercises to do. Get a pair of good walking shoes and go. You don’t need trainers, classes or expensive equipment.

Staying fit is something that you owe to your body. Don’t starve it! Don’t punish it! Nourish it and lovingly give it what it requires just like you would to your own child. And, it will pay you back with many years of health.

Have I inspired you enough to choose the path of health and fitness… for life?

Rachna 

Rachna Parmar is an avid blogger, an enthusiastic cook, wife, and mom to two naughty sons and a Labrador! She is also a Freelance Content Writer and an entrepreneur and co-owner of her startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd. She counts reading, writing and social causes among her passions.

 

82 Comments

  1. Vandana M Khemka Vandana M Khemka October 13, 2012

    Yeah..I totally love walking..I am a new mum who just wants to stay outdoors… Delhi weather sucks so eagerly waiting for winters where I can snap her in stroller or baby carrier and can go for nice long walks!…Sigh*

  2. Saru Singhal Saru Singhal September 25, 2012

    I love walking but I am not disciplined. I think I will find a partner, may be, I will be more regular then. Thanks for sharing those helpful tips.

    • Rachna Rachna October 20, 2012

      You’re welcome! I feel getting a partner definitely helps! Wish you luck in getting regular.
      Rachna recently posted..A nice vacation!My Profile

  3. Rachna Rachna September 25, 2012

    I am glad that you could connect with the post, Shilpa! Here’s to health and fitness!
    Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  4. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg September 25, 2012

    Yes, you have inspired me enough to choose the path of health and fitness… for life!!
    I walk a lot for shopping or going to the nearby courier service or going to the parlour or parents’ home and have a on-off affair with the treadmill too, but this post has some real nice pointers! Will try them out and be regular in my fitness regime! 🙂
    Shilpa Garg recently posted..Live from the TrainMy Profile

  5. irfan irfan September 25, 2012

    in our locality outdoor walking is very difficult bcoz of traffic(even in the early morning) so i am doing it now on my “tread mill” and try doing regularly…….and benefit of walking as you mentioned is really unlimited, specially once we are 40+….

    Thanks for this inspiring post here, will certainly encourage me more now to be on my tread mill… 🙂

    • Rachna Rachna September 25, 2012

      Thank you Irfanbhai! May our creed of walkers thrive. I understand that not everyone can have access to safe outdoor spaces. In which case, a treadmill has to work out fine. Just keep doing things that keep you motivated in your fitness regime.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  6. Jenny Jenny September 24, 2012

    Wow! This is great. No wonder you are fit. of all the key points, finding a partner was the most beeneficial for me. Becuase one doesn’t get bored, and importantly one is always motivated. I am more into jogging and swimming, but any form of exercise is great. Not dreading it but looking forward to it, is the key! Great post!
    Jenny recently posted..A Blogger GiftMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      Absolutely Jenny! Whatever works for you is fine. Like you said, it is important that one enjoys it and looks forward to it instead of doing it as a chore. Thank you so much for connecting with the post :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  7. Amit Amit September 24, 2012

    I love jogging. There is a beautiful park near my house and I get up at 5 in the morning and jog there. Somehow that sets up my whole day. I have this amazing ability of putting on wieght even if I breathe too much, so yes this definitely keeps me in check.
    Amit recently posted..Top ten obsessions of an average Indian maleMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      That’s nice to know Amit. Well, I cannot manage mornings because I have to get the kids ready for school, so evenings work fine for me. And, in Bangalore, we do have some very good parks that we can take advantage of. About weight, that’s funny to know from a man :). I’ve had weight spikes during pregnancies, but my disciplined life has always paid off in maintaining my weight. Here’s to exercise!
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  8. Jas Jas September 24, 2012

    5 kilometers in 50 minutes!!! you are on a roll. I also adore walking but haven’t really gathered so much steam. Here’s to good health.
    Jas recently posted..Step BackMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      Thank you Jas! The pace naturally builds up when you’ve been doing it for so much time. Here’s to good health :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  9. Bella Bella September 24, 2012

    Rachna, I love walking! My furry friend Roxy helps to encourage me to hit the pavement on a daily basis, three times a day. We take long walks and depending on the hour of the day, some are more brisk and others more of a stroll. I do have to remember to eat something before I walk, like you suggest. Sometimes I make the mistake of walking early in the morning before I’ve had breakfast. Great post! Thanks for hosting Rachna, Corinne! As ever, your blog is fresh and inspiring! 🙂
    Bella recently posted..What shade of lipstick are you wearing?My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      Thank you so much, Bella! I am glad that the post connected with you. Yes, pick up a banana or a handful of nuts first thing in the morning before heading out. Dogs indeed make great companions. Keep at it, girl!
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  10. Roshni Roshni September 23, 2012

    Nice tips, Rachna! I agree that walking on a treadmill is extremely boring….I don’t know why people do that!

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      I guess sometimes weather and even having little kids don’t allow you much time in the open. In those cases, treadmills and bicycles come to rescue. If possible open air walking or jogging is way better.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  11. Latha Latha September 23, 2012

    Rachna’s mantra: A walk a day, keeps the doctor away….:)

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      If the doctor is handsome, I don’t mind meeting him daily :). But, yes I’ve got immense benefits from walking. I wanted to do this post because most people feel that you cannot be fit and in shape if you don’t gym. And, that is a myth!
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  12. Melissa Tandoc Melissa Tandoc September 23, 2012

    I love brisk walking too Rachna. This is one of the best exercises I had since my mom was diagnosed of a heart disease. We used to brisked walk together at 6 am. Now I’m doing it alone going to work at 8:30 am.

    One doctor challenged us to walk for 2.5 km for 6 mins to see if we’re healthy. I guess I walked more than 2.5 in 6 minutes.

    It’s good for the heart and the brain 🙂 Thanks for sharing this. I’ll let my mom read this too…
    Melissa Tandoc recently posted..εφφαθα: First partMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 24, 2012

      Thank you so much Melissa. I agree; it is an amazing exercise and so easy to do. Wow 2.5 km in 6 minutes; that is awesome! It is good for the heart, brain and the soul too! I hope your mom is doing good, and you help her in taking good care of her health.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  13. Rachn Rachn September 23, 2012

    Thank you Jyothi! I am so glad that you could connect with the post and thanks for sharing your experience. This will inspire others as well.

  14. Jyothi Jyothi September 23, 2012

    Three years ago, I started my walking habit. I lost 13kgs with healthy eating and just walking in three months. I hate gyms. I hate my treadmill. But it is so hot here during summers, it becomes impossible to go for walks in the mornings. I like morning walks only. I had to stop in between due to health issues. Summer is over, I am back to my morning walks. I loved this post because it emphasizes everything I already knew. And it does a wonderful job of motivating people to follow a healthy way of life. I at present cover 2km in 25 mins 5 times a week. It’s been just two weeks now. I walk with the hubby, but I use music too. 🙂
    Jyothi recently posted..Salary for Homemakers…My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 23, 2012

      Yes, dogs are great companion. But mine is so naughty, and we live in a cynophobic community so taking him out for walks does not work out easily. But that is a great way to stay fit and walk :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  15. Galen Pearl Galen Pearl September 22, 2012

    Perfect timing! I have just been thinking about walking. I used to walk all the time, all over the neighborhood. Now I hardly ever do. I only take walks up at my cabin. I do engage in other physical activity (martial arts), but there is nothing easier or more pleasant than a simple walk around the neighborhood. You see all sorts of things you would not see from a car.

    Thank you for this post. You have renewed my motivation to make walking a regular part of my life once again. I can’t believe how perfect the timing is on your post. You must have written it just for me.
    Galen Pearl recently posted..I Am Not Angry!My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 23, 2012

      Galen, so glad to hear that! It warms my heart to know that you feel motivated to take up walking seriously. I wish you luck and success. Thanks so much for your comment.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  16. Deanne Deanne September 22, 2012

    What a lovely post ~ a pleasure to read 🙂 I love walking in nature too…no special equipment needed and it’s so good for the mind and body!

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Thank you Deanne! I am glad that you love walking too!
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  17. vinisha vinisha September 22, 2012

    This one was really inspiring one mam – now sure i am gonna do walking regularly
    vinisha recently posted..VACUITYMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Vinisha, so glad that you found the post useful! I look forward to a fitter you.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  18. Destiny's child Destiny's child September 22, 2012

    That’s a neat post on the benefits of walking. My father has been taking regular morning walks, about 50 mins long, and all of us in the family are seeing the difference. May be I should tug along my mother and join him on his walks. 🙂

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Thanks Destiny’s child! You may try that or if you are a beginner, you may want to start slower. Wish you luck :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Early mornings, I love as well. But, with kids to send off to school, it is not feasible. We do try to do that during the summer holidays when evenings are much hotter. I understand about the unrest part. You can then try a good gym just like rama mentioned in her comment.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  19. dNambiar dNambiar September 22, 2012

    You make me want to start walking regularly, Rachna.
    I’m sure having a partner helps to a very large extent. Adds fun to it too. I’ve always loved the idea but for me its been difficult to have a constant companion. 🙁 Maybe I should try again.

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Hey Divya, I am glad to hear that. It helped me to have a partner, because there are certain days when I don’t want to move my butt. But having a dog or even music for a companion will do just fine. Make sure you have loads of exciting music to listen to :). Give it a try, sweetie.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      That’s nice to know, Sigrid! Keep doing the good work :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  20. Jeevan Jacob John Jeevan Jacob John September 22, 2012

    Ah, walking!

    If I say I don’t walk regularly, that would be a lie (I do walk, just around my college campus and the walking from one class to another). After reading your post, I am inspired to do more walking (Guess, I need to start finding time for walking, because I have been also spending some time lately on weight loss and eating less; the walking could help a lot to get rid of that fat).

    And of course, beyond all that, like you mentioned, there are several other advantages (Even though I only walk around my campus, I find myself most productive, especially with finding and thinking on topics to write about, during that time around).

    (Of course, it will be better if I go out and walk in parks and stuff – and just breathe the fresh air and walk on).

    Thanks for the informative post, Rachna! I will surely try to make a change in the schedule and get more walking done 🙂
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted..Is there anything impossible to you?My Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Jeevan, When I was in college just the amount of walking and climbing stairs was enough exercise. Eating less might not always lead to weight loss. Eat sensibly and put in good amount of exercise, and you will find yourself reaching a good body weight. Wish you luck with a more comfortable schedule.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  21. Joe Joe September 21, 2012

    some useful tips here.
    Some I knew and some are new to me.
    OK so let me see when do I start?
    No jokes apart, I think I should seriously start this. Like you said I should rope in my wife so then no backing off.
    Joe recently posted..Peter George and the church organMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 22, 2012

      Joe, I find it very useful to walk with hubby. But your partner can be a friend, colleague or even music. Something to keep you engrossed and motivate you to do it regularly. Boredom is the biggest challenge with exercising.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  22. umashankar umashankar September 21, 2012

    And what a brisk walker you are to be found at so many blogs at such short notices! Those childhood walks do strike a chord here. In fact, I was a compulsive walker as a kid! Thanks for the tip. Yes, its best to walk on a stationary road rather than a treadmill.
    umashankar recently posted..In Other Rooms, Other Wonders – A ReviewMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 21, 2012

      hehe Good one Umashankar :). Didn’t we all walk so much in our childhood? My sons have their school closeby; they take a school bus and yet crib :). I hope you add walking to your life. Thank you for your comment!
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  23. Leah Leah September 21, 2012

    Good Morning Corrine! Like you, I love to walk. I usually walk a couple of miles when I first wake up in the morning and then take a 3 to 4 mile walk in the evening. It helps me to reduce stress, stay in touch with nature and my neighbors, and keeps me fit. I prefer to walk alone as I use this time to center and pray. I also enjoy listening to music when I walk but I have to be careful not to sing out loud. LOL!!!
    I live in Florida where everything is flat so I doubt I’m in as good shape as you. I’m heading to hilly Massachusetts so I’ll probably build some new muscles while I’m there. Take care my walkerly friend. I’ll be pretty busy helping my mother-in-law for a while, but I’ll be checking in most days.
    Hugs,
    Leah
    Leah recently posted..A Vital MissionMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 21, 2012

      Hi Leah, I am happy to know that you are walking friendly as well and that you have experienced the benefits of walking. Thank you so much for liking my post. Hope you have fun in Massachusetts :).
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  24. ramananth ramananth September 21, 2012

    I also love walking, and as you said walking to school, and then walking to college, and practically walking everywhere, is quite normal for me and my husband. My husband walks faster than me. I stopped going for walks from exercise point of view, because now a days the parks have become too crowded with everybody from humans to some crazy animals, occuping the parks, even the roads are no longer fit for walking, because of the street dog nuisance etc.
    Since, I have an early morning batch of aerobics, I cannot go for walks at that time even if i want. But i love my classes and people who come to my class and myself have lot of greenery and fresh air to take in while we are exercising.
    I love Gym, I love Yoga and also love weight training with the mean machines too. While I am on the treadmill, I really don’t know how time flies by while I run, walk up hill etc., watching the world go by through the big glass windows that face the road, and my mind is always thinking, it is not only an exercise for the body but also the mind. I enjoy all the cardio machines ad love all the weight machines too. How I spend 1 and half hours in the gym, I am hardly aware, it just goes off.
    I know many people get bored with walking, gym, and Yoga too, but I somehow love everything about fitness.
    Have you done skipping, and re bounding, those too are great forms of exercising.
    Whatever maybe the exercise, i think one should stick with it and add some change of exercises to confuse our body, and reap all the benefits.
    Cheers to fitness!!!
    Sorry for the long comment.

    • Rachna Rachna September 21, 2012

      Hi Rama, Thank you so much for sharing your fitness experience. I know boredom is a huge cause of dropping a fitness regimen. And, walking for all the reasons that I pointed out is not boring for me. Hats off to you for your sustained commitment to fitness. I hope others derive lessons from there. Cheers to fitness and health!
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  25. Lazy Pineapple Lazy Pineapple September 21, 2012

    I love walking too. It is cathartic as you said . I prefer taking different routes each day so that the walk does not become monotonous.

    You have motivated me enough with your post to do it each day of the week. I am going to make a schedule and start brisk walking to lose all that extra weight I have put on after so many medical treatments.
    Thanks for your inspiration, Rachna.
    Lazy Pineapple recently posted..Sweet NothingsMy Profile

    • Rachna Rachna September 21, 2012

      Vinita, I hear you, and I am so proud of you girl! You have the determination to get the best out of walking. And, I wish you luck with regularity. Thank you so much for your warm comment.
      Rachna recently posted..Walk to Your Health!My Profile

  26. The Great Gordino The Great Gordino September 21, 2012

    Superb post! Both because the general idea of walking is such a good one, and also because you give a useful list of things to check and ways to prepare – very nice!
    Cheers, Gordon

    • Rachna