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!