Flirting with a Sedentary Life

Having found my gusto for exercise back for the past few months, I have found newer relish in my morning walks, barring the constant tug of war I play with dog shit. A neighbour friend introduced me to a path less beaten, not too far from where I live, to break my normal concrete walking routine. It leads to a quaint countryside type of a setting with hutments and people going about their morning duties; let’s spare the details shall we?

And it is on one of these walks that I noticed a small little girl brisking with her school bag, obviously to school. Every time I went for my walk, I would see her making this hike to her school. One day upon further inquiry she told me she was only 6 years old and in 1st grade and that she walked alone to her school which according to the location she described to me must be about 1km from home. This meant, she walked at least 2km any given day, apart from all other chores she must have to undertake in her household.

While my daughter who is all of 7 and many others her age and beyond, fret even to walk to the school bus stop! Why this aversion to walking? Why don’t we walk that much anymore? My maid and many other blue collar job holders walk a lot any given day, so is walking an activity only for the poor? And many such questions were playing tug of war in my mind.

Walking, the most basic human activity is slowly becoming alien to us, due in part to urbanization, cars parked right under our nose, uber/ola at your door step and of course technological  advancement where one is not required to walk to the bank, grocery store, or even to hail a cab. Some might shrug and say, not entirely true. Well, do we need statistics to tell us that we are not walking enough? Ok then here it is; a recent study by Stanford that reveals Indians are amongst the ones that hardly walk.

And if we hardly walk, how can we expect our children to follow in our footsteps? No, not the walking to the car, to the parking lot, in the mall, to the bathroom and kitchen or to charge your phone kind of walking but conscious walking for the sake of just that!

If you are still with me on this post, then congratulations, it just tells me you are determined to make some changes in your life and of those around you. And here’s how we are going to do it

Every Step Counts

Make every step count by doing the following-

Walking while talking on the phone with your bestie or heck even the boss

Walk rather than driving to the local grocery store, dropping kids to a class nearby

When at a mall, park the car farthest away from your entrance; take a longer route to the store at the mall

When in office again, park the farthest.

Go hail a cab or an auto sometimes and if you must, get Uber/Ola a few blocks away from your pick up or drop off point and walk the extra distance.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder and walking makes it stronger

So let’s work on both of these aspects. Start maintaining a distance from the things you love to do until you have walked enough to earn it.

For e.g. I love  die to eat something sweet after every meal, but now I abstain until I have completed my morning walk.

 

One is fun but two makes it woohoo

Having a walking buddy makes walking all the more exciting. It keeps you focused and regular.  And when the walking buddy is on sick/study/couch potato leave, a good pair of headphones and some music will ensure that we keep at it.

 

Be your own beck and call

Stop asking your kids, wife and husband to do things for you like, getting the phone, a glass of water, the TV remote or even fetching the morning newspaper. Get up and do it yourself.

 

Encourage Kids to Walk

If you walk, they will. It is that simple. Well actually not really, we will have to do more than that.

Walk them to their class, bus stop (provided it’s walking distance) and prepare a story to tell or play a game while walking

If you think they are becoming the couch potato you once were, make them your beck and call

 

Just a couple thousand extra steps can go a long way especially with our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. About time we realize that walking is not just mere exercise, it is a necessary part of our life. Let’s stop flirting with a sedentary life and get walking.

 

PS: Oh and if you are techie enough, I would like to propose an app which when downloaded on your phone inactivates the wifi until you have walked a certain number of steps a day. Now that should get not only us but also our children walking, don’t you think?

 

I am taking My Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter‘ #MyFriendAlexa

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Flirting with a Sedentary Life

  1. Well said!! I’m definitely on the same path as you…pun intended. Walking is the best! I can do it for hours. Especially in a strange town. I love getting lost in little streets and narrow by-lanes. Only way to feel like you belong to a place. Sadly we don’t have the luxury of time in your own. But we must make it happen everyday.

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  2. Bingo! So glad to hear that. I had started a 5km run before monsoons and was doing it religiously but due to heavy rains I had to stop. I haven’t verb able to pursue it so regularly now but I am completely with you on this. We need physical movement, excercise especially people like me who are seated at desk whole day. Loved your tips

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  3. I love walking. But Bombay makes it a nightmare! Pollution and traffic leave very few places where walking can be pleasant. So whenever we go on a holiday we make the most of it and walk for hours everyday if possible. In my teens suburban Bombay was less polluted and I was lucky enough to live in a housing society that supported lots of greenery and parks and I used to walk for two hours everyday, initially to avoid studying, but later because I grew to love it. In the US I lived in a very cold place and made the most of the summers walking as much as I could. but now I live in a highrise with little ground space and too close to the highway which is good for many things but not walking 😦 I miss it.

    On a more cheerful note I love the cover picture and I am sort of jealous that you found a good place to walk.

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  4. Indian roads are not even walking friendly. You cant let your kids be alone on the roads walking to their destinations. Probably thats the reason we have become the least walking people in the world. But yes some of your suggestions are doable and effective in giving the heart a race for its worth.

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    1. Thank u anupriya for reading. I totally hear you when u say Indian roads are not walking friendly. But with modern societies making provision for walking trails I hope that would be some incentive

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