The India Gate lawns of New Delhi were filled with more than 10,000 health conscious people of all ages today. They had assembled for a “Walk for Health” event organised by Times Now TV and Max Bupa Insurance. I accepted the honour of flagging off this walkathon as it is a subject very close to my heart. For several years now I have been pleading with my countrymen to make it a habit to walk briskly on the neighbourhood park or simply down the street before their homes for 30-45 minutes each day as it is a proven and easy way of warding off dangerous non-communicable diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. World Health Organisation has put out numerous studies in the public domain articulating how walking for 30 minutes each day for five days per week helps one avoid coming down with these conditions. Walking regularly helps restore life balance, makes people calmer, happier and develop a positive attitude towards life. There is no theory about walking being necessary for only senior citizens. The youth of today are under equal stress and need to walk as much as their elders. One doesn’t need special equipment or clothes for this form of exercise. I recall the sagely advice of a famous cardiologist, Dr Paul Dudley White, who had said “To my all heart patients I give following advice –‘Park your car a mile away from your office and do not marry a wife who cooks too well.’” Dr White had visited my medical college in Kanpur before my time and this line had made such an impression that students of later batches like me came to hear of it via seniors. Incidentally, he is remembered as the “Father of Preventive Cardiology”. TV personality Mandira Bedi and Bollywood actor Kriti Sanon shared the dais with me on the occasion. Mr Manasije Mishra, CEO of Max Bupa, was also present. Both the celebrities told me they took regular walks. However, I pointed out to them in a friendly way that over-exercising is not too good for one’s health either.
My clear and simple message to the people of India – Walk for Good Health.