Tag Archives: Walking

Brisk walking at least for 20 minute in morning is essential to remain fit and to keep away lifestyle diseases.

At 83, she is preparing for her next veterans athletics meet

When professional sportsmen hang their boot at 40, Daisy Victor began participating in athletic events when she was just few days shy of her 50th birthday.  “I am only 83 years old” says Daisy who runs and exercises everyday in the ground near her house in Madhavaram, Chennai, and she also hits the gym twice a week.  She also practices long jump at the Nehru stadium every week.  In National and International Veterans athletics Meets so far she has won 377 medals from 104 meets. She won 46 golds from 22 internationals meets and 96 golds from 33 national events.

Daisy, a former employee of BSNL in Chennai, and a mother of 6 children took up athletics seriously in 1981 when she participated in the World Veterans Athletics Meet in ChristChurch, Newzeland. Her biggest moment was when on her return from the event, she was introduced to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh.

veterans athletics

Daisy’s indomitable spirit has inspired the youngsters, including her 13 grandchildren who are proud of their grandmother’s achievements.  During summer vacations, boys and girls come to her to get coached for athletics. Schools and Colleges invite her  to inspire the youth to make sports and exercise a part of their lifestyle.

Secret of her Success

“All my achievements is because of the Grace of God. He gave me the strength and talent to run.” says Daisy who wakes up at 5 in the morning and begins the day with prayer along with her husband Victor Sundararaj.

veterans athletics

“Though women are physically active through out the day with household activities, they need to do exercise everyday for their necks, hands, legs, etc” says Daisy who began running and winning as a school girl in Bellary. It was her father, who was a sportsman, encouraged her to participate in athletic events.

When asked what the elderly must do to be physically fit she said “They must do physical exercise and walk atleast 15 minutes everyday. The should not be walking leisurely but brisk walk”. Read this post to know more about the advantages of brisk walking.

She says people should follow a strict diet and a strict routine to remain healthy and fit. She takes very little rice, consumes a lot of vegetables and avoids snacks and tea as much a possible.

Her running and exercise has kept her away from certain hereditary lifestyle diseases. Says her son Stephen, “When she was 75, she argued with a doctor who said she was diabetic. She said since she is physically fit she should not be diabetic. But the doctor told her in her family diabetic begins at 35 years of age, so she should consider herself lucky as she could keep the disease away for 40 years.”

When most people struggle to walk a few miles at this age, Daisy travels everyday by bus and she talks to people, inspiring them with her own testimony of determination and complete faith in God.

 [sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”]

Pedestrians reclaim streets on Raahgiri Day

Every Sunday from 6 to 10 AM, the inner circle of  Connaugt Place is reserved only for pedestrians. Putting aside their usual habit of waking up for brunch on Sunday, Delhiites pour is by 6:00 AM on Sundays at Connaught Place. One parent said that her children were so excited about the event that they hardly slept at night. And they reached the venue before 6:00 AM. “I wish that they  had the same enthusiasm to wake up on week days to go to school.” She says. Watch the video ‘Glimpses of Raahgiri” here.

On Raahgiri day streets are  car-free for few hours for pedestrians to enjoy street activities that they miss due to  heavy road traffic and lack of availability of space.  The first Raahgiri Day was on Novermebr 18th , 2013, in Gurgaon,  a Sunday, with around 10000 participants.

Zumba Dancing at Raahgiri Day
Zumba Dancing

The Sundays after that have become time for celebrating street activities in Gurgaon. The number of participants is increasing manifold week after week. In Delhi the first raahgiri Day on July 13th was attended by a crowd of 5000. Meenakshi Lekhi, MP New Delhi Lok Sabha, lead the cycling rally.

Running Race at Raahgiri Day
Running Race

Kids arrive with skating kit. As one mother said “At school they have limited space and time to skate. Here they have four hours and as they skate in a circle they can skate without fear of hitting someone. ”

Raahgiri has altered the lifestyle of Delhites, they have changed from night owls to morning larks. Despite the huge crowd at the venue, there is peace and no cramming for space. The chirping of birds is audible as the noise pollutants are at standstill for few hours and fresh morning air can be inhaled.

DSC04511

There is nothing like cycling at leisure – hands free from the handle, some times without pedaling, whistling an old Kishore Kumar song, holding the baby on shoulder and riding the cycle. There are many more such cycling fun seen only on Raahgiri Day. “I’m cycling after 20 years” said a 45 year old man with lot of excitement. It was a pleasure to watch girls riding cycles without fear, very few girls ride two-wheeler, let alone cycle now a days in Delhi.

Raahgiri Day is attracting huge crowd as there is something for everyone of all age groups.  Babies as young as 6  month old and eighty year old elderly can be seen enjoying all the activities. In the Drum Jamming Session the young, the middle aged, the elderly, the men, the women, the professionals, the amateurs and the on-lookers were all creating music and dancing to the music. The other activities include yoga, zumba dancing, gym work outs, ……….. In a counter of traffic police, questionnaires for kids were distributed to spread awareness about road safety.

 Why you should go for Raahgiri this Sunday?

  • The venue is easily reachable by metro, bus or car.
  • Apart from the conveyance you do not have to pay for anything else.
  • Cycles are rented free for from Times of India corner after depositing mobile phone as security (NB: cheap phones are not accepted).
  • You can reach home in time for the routine Sunday brunch.
  • Every sunday there is something new and exciting
  • The Raahgiri Day excitement is just catching up, so better make the best use before the event gets more crowded

Raahgiri day is in its salad days, now the crowd consist of people who were craving for the space, time and clean environment.  But in the coming days Raahgiri will alter the lifestyle of majority of Delhiites for sure. This week there was a Raahgiri in Dwarka, Authorities are planning Rahagiri Day at more venues in Delhi.

Enjoy Raahgiri Day coming Sunday, breath some fresh air, take football and cricket equipment and play without fearing of breaking window glasses of someone’s car or home.

[sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”]

Walking Habit of Four Generation

Until a decade back,when transportation was costly and very few owned a vehicle, we used to walk a lot in India. As the years go bye the daily walking hours keep decreasing. My family was enthusiastic of walking. I thought why not make a comparative study of the walking habit of four generation – grandfather, father, myself and now kids spend walking. Read this post to find more about how walking boost memory.

Grandfather: An accountant by profession, before the independence of India, he used to walk hundreds of miles to meet his clients. He walked day and night, barefoot, and come back home sometimes in the wee hours of morning.
Diet: Rice was his staple food – breakfast of rice flour dishes; rice and curry for lunch and dinner. Every morning, at 4 AM, before starting his work, he had egg-milk (piping hot milk poured into a steel tumbler containing raw whipped egg). As a small child one day I insisted on having the same concoction and the same quantity as grandpa was drinking. Guess what happened – I couldn’t drink even one sip and that disgusting smell  of the raw egg persists in my memory!. Grandma says that this ‘Magic Egg’ concoction was the secret of his good health.
Health status: Grandpa was a thorough professional of those days with a high social status. He was active in many social circles until one day when he died of heart attack at the age of 75.
Father:  A post-independent product, the maximum my father walked was from his home to school, an aggregate of 10 kms per day. By the time he grew up there were buses and cycles. When he started working he brought a cycle and now he has a car.
Diet:  A strict non-vegetarian, he has only home made food. Ask him to control his weight or to change his food habit according to age – my kids don’t have to be coaxed so much to eat vegetables.
Health status: Now a days he is a cardiac patient and so he is supposedly on a cholesterol-control diet.
Myself: On a average I used to walk for 6 kms/days during my college days – home to bus stand / bus stop to college. Sometimes we friends used to walk for 3 kms, from the college to a Bus Junction. Now I have my private vehicle; the public transportation  also reaches upto my door steps. If I think of walking from the metro station to home, there are many hurdles – pollution, heavy traffic,….

Diet: Though I insist on having home made food; everyday I have a grab of the Junk food due to uncontrollable factors – office party, going out with family, overtime in office. Blame it on the lifestyle! The lifestyle promotes the Junk food culture!
Health status:Would have been an easy target for Obesity, diabetes, arthritis, spondylitis,….. had it not been for my regular walks, restricted diet and exercise.

Kids: They run, jump, jog, swing, leap, and yes walk also! Not the kind of walk that will enhance good health. They walk in schools, in malls, on the market lanes; they never walk fast consistently for 10 minutes. The residence are so small and packed with furniture that children don’t get a chance to walk inside home. Some also have skateboards to move around in the house.
Diet: Its hard to draw a clear distinction on the kind of diet to follow for kids – nutritional diet/freshly cooked food diet/Junk food. Mothers have to decide very early in life about the kids diet.  No matter how strict a mother is about home-made food and nutritional diet, a child on a average has atleast 100g of processed chips daily. In addition jam, sauce, biscuits, cakes,…….are all processed food.
Health status: Obesity is common, some kids are on weight reduction diet.We walk when the circumstances demand! There is no compelling factor, today, to wake up early in the morning for walk; until one becomes a victim of lifestyle diseases.Walking half an hour a day can keep lifestyle diseases away!

Walking shoes are essential

When we are yet to get used to the habit of walking for health, experts say that we should wear shoes for walking. Shoes is an alien concept, in India were we don’t have the tradition of covering the feet completely. Our forefathers used to walk barefoot hundreds of mile for a livelihood ; I used to walk to college in stilettos. So one fine day when someone says that walking shoes are essential for walking, sound irrational! Read this post to know about the fitness regime of the elderly.
I always ignored the advice to wear shoes for walking. Once I brought a canvas shoes, within a few days gave it in charity. There is nothing more comfortable than the lightweight, rubber slippers in which the foot can move freely.
I stuck to my theory for over a decade, until I saw many elderly women wear sports shoes for walk. Whether in sarees or salwar/kameez most of the walkers now walk in sport shoes. Though not fully convinced that there will be any visible change, I decided to go with the trend – I brought an athletic shoe for walking.
The Result!
My viewpoint has changed completely! My life has change for ever! There are atleast five benefits of walking in shoes.  Some of the advantages of walking in shoes are as follows:
  • Increase in Speed

I used to cover 10 laps in an hour; wearing shoes I can cover 15 lapse. Which means 50% increase in performance.

  • Less pressure on feet

While walking in a slipper the toes have the additional job of holding the straps in place. This decreases the speed of walking.

  • Shoes are walking aides

Walking shoes are generally designed to be flexible to the ball of the foot;  when you walk the weight of the body rolls from the heel, to the ball of foot and finally to the toes. A good walking shoe will help reduce the pressure borne by the foot.

  • Improves body posture

A good shoe helps create natural body posture. Buy shoes that are flexible in the toe so that you can bend and twist the toe part while walking.

  • Protects the feet

In the slippers the feet is covered with dust and they are prone to get injured. A shoe protects the feet from external damage.

Tips for buying a good pair of athletic shoe
Before buying the athletic shoe I surveyed the market by reading articles online, talking to friends and visiting athletic shoe showrooms. Some of the findings are as follows:
  • Running shoe is better than walking shoe for walking
  • The shoe should be lightweight and flexible.
  • There should be enough cushioning under the ball of the foot.
  • Ensure that the toes can move freely inside the shoe
  • Buy a shoe of good quality; use your instinct rather than the salesman’s opinion. Take a trial, of both the shoe, before buying.

[sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”] 

 
 
 
 

To lose weight, make friends with lean people

A scientific study says that if you want to lose weight make friendship with lean people. The attitude of my friends towards walking proves the finding to be true. Read this post to know about the walking habits of four generations of a family.

I have a couple of lean, perfectly in-shape, friends who have a predominantly fatty food diet. The difference between the lean, heavy-eaters and the obese is that the former does all the physical work without applying any brain, while the latter tries to find short cut for all activities. Since the zebra crossing is faraway, I would risk the busy traffic to cross the road. But my lean friends follows the rule and goes all the way to the zebra crossing to cross the road. When I take the escalator to go to the metro train platform, my lean friend prefers to take the stairways. Such lean people burn so much of calories during their daily routine, that they do not need any form of physical exercise

During friendly chats, when I tell my friends about the refreshing morning walks, they complain that I was too mean to not call them for company. So one of them decided to come for the walk at 7:00 in the morning. However I was awaken by a mobile message at 3:00 AM; which read ‘I won’t come for walk, as I slept very late yesterday‘.

Another friend decided that her children also require some exercise, so she accompanied me on morning walks with two teenage son and a little daughter. While we walked, the kids played badminton in the park. As the children were playing, our concentration was on the security of the kids; so we walked less and watched the kids more. In order to cajole the children to come everyday for walks, we used to have a small party of cookies and hot coffee after the walk and game section.
Walking with friends strengthens friendship but fails to achieve the ultimate aim of achieving physical fitness. So on weekday I walk alone and on on the longer weekend walks friends are also invited.
.

Walking boosts memory

 
Today I read an article in a Newspaper that the memory power of those who walk in park is 20% more than of those who walk on street lanes. Naturally, while walking in a green surrounding there is more intake of oxygen and that makes the brain-cells work better. Maybe this is the scientific explanation for the inspiration that writers get when they are in the midst of nature. Remember the famous poem of Robert Frost “Stopping by the woods” penned down after he travelled through the woods on a cold winter night. Read this post to know the advantage of using walking shoes.
I observed that most of the people who walked in the park did not have athletic figure, they were walking more for their mental than physical fitness. Nowadays you need to be young, physically and mentally, to remain fit in the job market. There is one fellow, whose self-styled exercise routine has made him  the butt of joke in the park. He runs fast and when he finds some other jogger in front of him, he will reduce the speed with a loud noise, as if applying sudden break in a car. He faces to the west and claps so loudly that the sound vibrates through the entire premise of the park. He ends his exercise routine by standing straight, looking up at the sky, as if to roar like a lion, and then he laughs at the top of his voice. He is a successful entrepreneur, and I am sure he follows the ‘I don’t care what others think’ attitude even in his office.(The secret of all successful people is their confidence to act differently in order to attain their goals).
My boss, in her seventies, is another example of how fitness is important to remain mentally fit. She does yoga and walks everyday in the morning. She drinks one glass of green juice, and another of fruit, before leaving for office. Ask her about the content of any magazine she published 20 years back and she promptly gives details about its date of publishing, the cover picture and so on.
In this age when Dementia and amnesia are becoming common, the time is never late to begin exercising and walking in the parks. An hour of activity in the park everyday will keep one fit, mentally and physically always. 
[sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”]

Brisk walking is good for health

The first golden rule to maintain a healthy lifestyle – Brisk walk everyday. I have read many articles about the benefits of brisk walking, but I still don’t know how fast I should walk. Since articles were of no use I decided to follow the footsteps of the fittest person in the park. I discovered that, if the articles were confusing, the ingenious walking techniques of the walkers were even more confusing. Read this post to know about the walking habits of four generations of a family.

I located the leanest walker, since I wanted to be that thin, and observed how she walks. There was nothing artistic about her style. She kept on walking, non stop, around the park for hours, with an earphone fixed in her ears. There were youngsters who ran at full speed –  I decided not to follow them. Then came a healthy girl in the opposite direction, she was taking long, hefty strides and swinging her hands to and fro, violently, as if she was going to beat someone. There were some who did combo-exercises. They stretched hand and legs; and swung them round and round while walking. Others just jogged.

While most walked alone, some were in groups. They walk to rejuvenate, so that they can start their day on a fresh note. While they walk, they occupy the whole space, disturbing the pace of the serious walkers. There was also a group of elderly aunts, who wore sports shoe with their traditional dress, walking religiously in the morning and evening. These beautiful women in their seventies are so fit and healthy that any youngster would want to make them their fitness icon. (I know them personally, the secret of their fitness, and beauty, is also because of their harmonious family life.)

After observing the walkers in the parks, and discussing with regular walkers, I concluded that how you walk or how fast you walk is not important. What is more important is to walk regularly without fail.

[sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”]

The fitness freak elderly

 

Going to park in the morning is the most refreshing way to start a day. Parks are so common that every place in Delhi is within walking distance of one or two parks. There are parks in my colony, however I like to go the District Park which is situated in acres of land and the whole place is buzzing, in the morning, with fitness activities. Read this to know about an 83 year old international woman athlete.

Most of the early morning park goers are the elderly who can give tough competition to youngster with their innovative fitness techniques. In the ‘laughing clubs’ who stand in a circle and laugh their lungs out on some artificially created jokes. Some of them sit on the bench and sing spiritual songs or poems. Sometimes they decide the future of the government by just sitting on the bench – without jumping on their feet or running to the well of the house. Their spirits defy their age and they come up with new projects for the development of the colony.
As they have lot of time and they are keen to stay fit, they opt for traditional fitness lifestyle. So they use dantoon (neem twig) to brush teeth and have green herbal juice consisting of bitter herbs like alovera, gooseberry, bitter gourd, china grass,……etc.(tips: any herb or vegetable that in green and bitter can be included). The fitness-freak-elderly enthusiasm led to three make-shift herbal juice shops being erected inside the park, that make sweet money in return of serving the fitness-freaks bitter juice.
[sam_ad id=”15″ codes=”true”]