ahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation, laid great stress on the morning walk. He himself used to go out for a morning walk every day. If we see the example of Mahatma Gandhi, he had the sense to understand and build on it. His theory of Satyagraha, the Dandi March are enactments of the drama of walking, of standing for or against something. The body becomes the icon of the most elementary and profound of protests. Gandhi used walking to bring down an empire. In fact, he understood walking is still within nature.
It clearly gives a message that trapped in our rhythms of daily life; we often ignore the many physical and psychological benefits of walking. The simplest form of exercise is walking; it has a multitude of benefits both physical and psychological. It is probably the best form of exercise for someone who has a lot of weight to lose. It is accessible, cheap, fairly easy on already-stressed-by-excess-weight joints and less intimidating than a gym or a class. A simple walk on a daily basis puts you on sound health. An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. A morning walk is good for our legs, arms, chest and waist. In fact, it is a good exercise for the whole body. Fresh air improves our normal bodily function. Research reveals that walking increases the level of endorphins – naturally secreted hormones working in the brain which increase the sense of well-being. A study conducted by Dr. James O. Hill in conjunction with the University of Colorado Health Science Center showed that walking 2,000 additional steps daily prevents body weight gain. Additional research showed that 10,000 steps is the breakpoint to lose weight. Walking is not only vital to weight loss, but it is also effective in reducing symptoms of hypertension, diabetes and it also lowers the risk to develop cancer. According to survey, walking is super pill and is the most prescribed exercise for obese patients (84 per cent), followed by diabetics (76 per cent) and patients suffering from blood pressure (72 per cent), cholesterol (65 per cent) and cardiovascular diseases (56 per cent). It is a fact that health is wealth. If health takes a back seat in our lives and we thrust all our energies towards amassing wealth indiscriminately, we may not be in a healthy condition to enjoy our hard-earned wealth.
Walking is so easily accessible to all of us, that we never stop to imagine it can have so many benefits. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator could be a great exercise for those work or study in tall buildings. Walking to nearby locations instead of riding the bus or a car is healthy for our body and wallet.
There is something about walking as a ritual, elegant in its routineness that we must grasp. Walking is a great equaliser, democracies’ greatest act, more primordial than the vote. Walking is the act of the body exploring itself as it traces the world. It is said that when you walk, you talk to your deepest self, even as you listen to the silence of the body and its rhythms. One must remember that walking curbs your sense of power and domination, provides you with a sense of modesty and locality.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)