It was a rainy day and I had to stay for a long time while waiting for my flight to Bangalore airport. The flight was getting delayed due to bad weather. While walking to the bookshop, a poster caught my sight, which read – ‘If you don’t take time for your wellness, you will be forced to take time for your illness.’ It was rightly said because I myself have suffered a lot because of lack of exercise. Being in a newspaper job for many years, made me sit on the desk for long hours at a stretch without any movement or break. The sedentary lifestyle created problems in my backbone and caused cervical pain, for which I had to undergo serious surgery also. However, now I am quite aware of the benefits of physical movement and exercise. My all-time favourite exercise has been walking in the courtyard or in the park surrounded by greenery and trees. After a balanced diet, if anything is important for fitness, it is exercise. Some people prefer the gym, some do yoga, and many others like to walk in the park. Walking is considered the best habit, as it does not cost anything and does not even require any tools.

Walking is a complete exercise in itself. Walking half an hour a day is a great way to maintain good health. This routine can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, burn excess fat and increase muscle strength. It can reduce the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. For people who are overweight, older, or who haven’t exercised in a long time, walking is a good form of physical activity. When you walk, you carry your own body weight, that is, it’s a kind of weightlifting exercise. This keeps the heart and lungs healthy. In addition, walking can help manage conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, joint and muscle pain or stiffness. Bones become strong and the balance of the body improves.

If there is no time for a regular walk in the park, then take some small measures at home or office, such as using stairs instead of a lift to cover short distances. If going by bus or metro, get off one stop before and walk to work or home. Instead of going by car, prefer to walk to nearby shops. Make it a habit to walk regularly. Whenever you get a chance, take a walk. If you have a desk job, get up from the seat every hour and take a walk for two minutes. Doctors are of the opinion that for a good workout, at least 10,000 steps should be walked every day. To keep a record of how many steps you have taken, download the step tracker app on your mobile. As your fitness improves, you will be able to walk long distances and can burn more calories. The body gets used to the exercise, so keep increasing your walking speed. By climbing on hills, carrying weight in hand and walking for a long time, you will get more benefits and increase the stamina of the body. It is good to wear comfortable sports shoes and loose clothes for a walk.