2012 has been the year that more Indians than ever before strapped on a pair of comfortable shoes and hit the road. Walkathons, marathons, half-maranthons and dream runs were organized across the country to raise awareness and support many a good cause.
In the pristine hills of Manali, a marathon was hosted to encourage the exploration and discovery of India’s natural and cultural heritage. Most cheering to note was that the majority of runners were over fifty years of age!
From Shillong to Bangalore, walkathons were held to raise awareness on social and environmental issues. Whether to highlight environmental degeneration, save the girl child, spread awareness on cerebral palsy, breast cancer or heart disease, people turned up in large numbers to walk for good health and a greener tomorrow. Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Guwahati were other cities that had large turnouts, where children with grandparents, siblings, athletes and regular walkers, all arrived in the early hours of the morning to walk together to the finish line.
The trend was supported by many celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham and Milind Soman, all of whom campaigned for the cause and vociferously encouraged participation.
Walking is the simplest, easiest form of exercise with a host of health benefits. It improves circulation, reduces BP and is good for the heart. It builds muscle and bone strength and can help prevent Type 2 diabetes. Best of all, its free! You don’t need a fancy gym or special equipment; just put on a pair of running shoes and head to the nearest park to get your dose of fitness and good health!