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Walking on my mind

1:09 PM

I haven’t been blogging much, simply because I am on a walking high, I need my hour of walking after dropping Ishita to school like I need air, and if I haven’t said it before, I LOVE walking…wait I have said it several time before, I even observed that in the 9 year I have been in India I saw the urban middle class dweller hit the road more and more.
Thanks to my nifty little app on my phone I know how much I walk outdoor these days, and how it motivated to do even more, well I am proud to announce that my having found a jogging track near my place that is still in the shade at 11am mean that from the time I step out to drop Ishita in school and the time I make it back home about one hour and 15 minutes passes, with me hacking about 6.5 to 7km (yes KILOMETERS) just in that short time, efficiently placing me at 10k + steps in just that hour or so, considering my walking stride length is at 65 centimetres. Apparently the health care gurus of the world advise people to take 10’000 steps from the moment you step out of the bed in the morning until the time you climb back into it at night. I never thought that was hard to do from the time I heard about this concept in 2008, but I had many friends struggling to get these in their day. And according to this article I read recently Americans are the ones that log in the less step a day, while my fellow countrymen and women logged in a mean average of 9,650 steps in their day, right behind the Aussies who topped the chart at an average 9,695 steps in a day. It got me thinking about where India would rank there, the constant nagging from the media about diabetes and heart disease being on the rise and doctors urging their patients to spend more time on their feet has lead from almost no people going for a walk in their spare time back in 2003, to now seeing a steady flow of pedestrian logging in their miles morning and evenings in the neighbourhood, with all not only having gotten the memo on how walking is a healthy habit, but also got the second memo on how you should wear proper shoes to do so, with even elderly 60+ ladies sporting running shoes with their saree and walking the track with their husband.
I recently killed my good old pair of reeboks, to be fair they were old, I bought them in 2006, back then my requirement was for a pair of street wear shoes, because DH’s company was planning to ship us to Finland in the Fall and I alarmingly realised that all I had were flip flops and sandals, which would not have cut it boarding a plane bound for Helsinki. The guy in Reebok first tried to push some fancy schmancy high tech running shoes on me, but all were in men’s sizes and far too big for my size 6 feet, so I ended up getting one of the very few pairs meant for women, and interestingly back then the mentality was probably still such that women were considered to only engage in light exercising and therefore no real heavy duty women sports shoes existed on the Indian market, the people in Reebok also never really measured my feet to see what size I truly was or asked me any relevant question you would expect a sports brand store staff would ask.
Fast-forward to 2013, as I said my good old pair of shoes died, and I decided to wear another pair I had bought for our trip to Manali in 2009, all synthetic leather, sturdy, with a big sole. The worst idea ever, while the sole cushioning was decent, my feet tend to sweat a lot and we are now hitting the hot Summer days, my poor feet soaked wet silly and my pinkie toe rubbed against the sturdy not flexible “leather” until they blistered. Still determined to walk I put on my Fila sandals which offered a decent cushioning but the worst possible foot support, a few days with them at the fast pace walking I like had me wincing in pain the rest of the day, with DH pointing out it was time to get me some new sports shoes.
I have knee problem, had some from birth, my orthopedist constantly told my parents to not only limit the high impact activities in my day (no running) and to invest into a good pair of shoes for my PE classes, and since on top of it I have high arches my sole need extra support there too, at one point it got so bad and threatened to spoil my back that my orthopedist sent me to get some custom sole insert for my shoes. So with that in light and the fact I found it painful to just walk around the house by this weekend we headed to and Adidas shop. Upon seeing me looking at the shoes the sales lady (who was the ladies shoes specialist) first asked me what kind of activity I was into, since I’m walking any shoes of their range could in theory do, but she asked me at what intensity I do it, upon hearing I do one hour of brisk walking a day she told me I would benefit more from shoes with a heavy heel cushion, breathable fabric and flexible. I chose one shoe I wanted to try first and announced I was a size 6, she immediately told me that they will first check my size on their measuring chart, turns out my foot is a 6 almost a half size but the lady told me that I might even do better in a size 7 so she went looking for the sizes in question in the back, put the size 6 on my left foot immediately knowing before I did feel it that the shoe was tight so put the 7 on my other foot letting me appreciate the difference (Gasp reebok stuck me in slightly tight shoes in 2006!) A few steps into the shoes in question and they felt fine, but I wondered if they would actually do the job at really cushioning and supporting my feet properly. For some reason the lady must have sensed that and had disappeared only to come back with another box telling me that this model which looked fairly similar to the one that were on my feet offered some arch support the other did not, at this point I have no idea if she noticed my high arches without me having to elaborate, or saw me walk in the shoes I first asked to try and noticed they would not cut it long at my intensity level. The fact is the instant I slipped my feet in the second pair of shoes I was in happy feet heaven, I kid you not I have never ever worn a pair of shoes that gave me that feeling at the store itself. I ended up buying them, despite being the costliest shoes I ever bought as well,being men 6k. But in the end, 6k rupees is still cheaper than permanent joint damage and knee surgery. I put my shoes to the test and so far it’s also the first time ever that I can walk without feeling any pain after one hour, or after removing them, what’s more my heels and leg stopped paining and I only feel the satisfying hint of a twinge of muscular pain at the end of the day, the amount one feel having the satisfaction of having spent a productive day on their feet, a day at the end of which the day feels like a reward.
Walking is still the cheapest fitness activity one can do, and for me the only one I really find satisfying.
On these words, I’ll end my rave, I’ll still be around on the blog of course.

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