Walking: an invigorating effect on mind and body


What else could be easier than walking? What could be easier and cheaper than that in terms of costs  of coats of being fit and healthy? Walking is as simple as it gets for exercise. Walking is a great, natural way to achieve  a daily physical activity amount recommended for good health. After all, it is an indicator for how well the heart, lungs, joints and muscles are functioning well in your body. Scientific studies  have also shown that walking, besides its physical benefits, is also beneficial  for the mind, improving  memory skills, learning ability, concentration and abstract reasoning , as well as reducing  stress and lifting
Thus, it has an enormous invigorating effect on mind and body. If so, what do you need to start a walking program? Actually, you don’t need special equipment or training. All you need is a good, supportive pair of walking shoes. But at the same time you need to set to achieve goals—a short term and long term one. To stay motivated, you are advised to find a walking partner, such as a family member, friend or co-worker. It is easy to find them in our Myanmar community where our people make friends with one another just when they usually meet and smile at each other possibly because they happen to meet at their leisure rather than at a time of going about their daily business.
There are many areas of scenic beauty in Yangon—the Inya Lake, the Kandawgyi, Maha Bandoola Park in downtown Yangon, the Strand Road and so on. But the Kandawgyi is my favorite since my apartment is very near and I have been using it for more than a decade. I would say it is an ideal place or all city dwellers to come and just sit or do some sorts of exercises. It is easily accessible for all inhabitants far and near because it happens to be in the middle of the commercial city of Yangon. A wooden walkway inside the Lake has already been in place; the Golden Shwedagon and the Karaweik barge are visibly from all directions and they shine as the sun hits them. Wows! There are hundreds of morning walkers on the wooden walkway on every Saturday and Sunday in December.
Governments around the world recognize the benefits of walking for mental and physical health and are encouraging it. In this regard, our government gets actively involved in mass walking movements with high-ranking government officials leading the crowds during weekend holidays of December and January. In this regard, I would like to share my beneficial experiences of walking which I have tried to develop as a habit since I was struck down with a heart attack more than a decade ago. A Singaporean doctor advised me to undergo a bypass surgery; a Myanmar doctor recommended a regular walking practice as I was unable to support an open-heart surgery both financially and physically. Now I am alive and no need to worry about heart illness or whatever because of a regular walking.
Every morning, rain or sunshine, I go out for a walk; I keep on walking all the year round and I stick to the instructions strictly: taking drugs regularly; doing some sorts of light exercises; going to bed before ten and getting up early to start a day by walking. One may ask what the results are from a regular walking for such a long time.
A few benefits should be mentioned: developing a long-lasting friendship with different types of people; enjoying  a healthy lifestyle; and sharing knowledge with one another on social, political, local and international issues. Now I am a member of a youthful oldie’s club whose members are mostly baby-boomers with contemporary background knowledge. Every morning, my strong urge to go out and meet them is unstoppable. There is no doubt that the Kandawgyi is one of the best scenic spots in Yangon. But at the same time I would like to mention something in passing about two defects: toilets and the wooden walkway. There are virtually no toilets accessible nearby, the latter will, I hope, fail the walkability test because I hear a series of creaks and groans when brisk walkers and joggers tread on the loose planks with protruding nails and hooks. I hope authorities concerned will take a prompt action and get them repaired in time. Well, folks, do come and join us early in the morning to walk or jog on the wooden path inside the Kandawgyi. Shrug your shoulders and relax them. Keep your head up and your eyes either towards or the Shwedagon or the Karaweik and have deep breathing. Once you come out and enjoy idyllic surrounds near the Lake, I am sure you can’t stop coming to the Lake again.

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