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The Little Green Steps For Health and Environment

Despite all the mechanisation, mankind is yet to invent a better and more environment friendly exercise for health and sheer joy than walking and cycling!

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
'Ride,' Pleasure said;
'Walk,' Joy replied." -- W.H. Davies


Despite all the mechanisation, mankind is yet to invent a better and more environment friendly exercise for health and sheer joy than walking and cycling! While many a great writers, poets, thinkers, celebrities, business leaders were avid walkers; the enlightened city dwellers around the world have now taken to cycling too, both for health as well as to make a statement - in support of environment and to make our planet a greener place. It's a welcome march towards green living and healthier lifestyle!

The Joy of Walking

Walking is associated with myriad positive emotions. The feeling of joy, contentment, accomplishment, peace, happy and health starts flowing the moment you take those steps forward. And of course there is no better way to savour the nature, listen to the morning ragas of nature and chirping birds, watching the magnificence of a rising or setting sun than walking. One literally breathes and seeps nature while walking. No wonder, for many famous people walking was akin to religion. "My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don't need any other god," said Charles Bruce Chatwin, the iconic travel writer who reinvented travelogues and inspired scores of famous travel writers.

Gary Snyder, "the Poet Laureate of Deep Ecology" and a winner of Pulitzer Prize for Poetry called "Walking as the exact balance between spirit and humility; an adventure and meditation at the same time". Dr Paul Dudley White believed that "a vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world." Now Dr Paul Dudley White who? Well, Dr White (June 6, 1886 - October 31, 1973, Born Roxbury, Massachusetts USA) is acknowledged as one of the leading physician and cardiologist of all times and was a prominent advocate of preventive medicine. He was part of the Harvard faculty and was a personal physician to President Harry Truman. The best about health benefits of walk comes from the eminent British historian George Macaulay Trevelyan. "I have two doctors, my left leg and my right." Wow!

The World is now Cycling
The humble 'green wheel' is back in vogue around the world. As enlightened world realized the growing dangers to our environment and the need to make our cities more habitable bereft of vehicular and noise pollution, it has increasingly taken to cycling for commuting to work, thus combining health benefits with purposeful commuting. Europe has taken the lead here. French capital Paris already has a total network of 700 km bike road network which they are going to double in the next couple of years. Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, is among the most cycle-friendly cities in the world where more people are now biking to their work place than driving down their cars. More and more cities and even smaller towns around the world now proudly advertise extensive network of cycle tracks as one of their USPs to woo potential dwellers or investors.

Towards Green Living
Walking and cycling have assumed even more importance today. Environment conscientious companies like Max Bupa believe that given the rising pollution and traffic levels, there is a need to stress on green living and that's why we chose to promote walking among people, for people and for the planet. It is with this intention the company started a transformational campaign in 2012 by launching "Max Bupa Walk for Health" to promote walking as the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. And I am happy to point out that Max Bupa continues to be the only brand in the country to promote the cause of walking at such a massive scale. To promote green lifestyle and to enlighten people, the company promotes walking around the year through various social media platforms which now has over five lakh followers! The company also publishes an annual Max Bupa Walk for Health Survey that educates the media and the public at large on health benefits of walking for different age groups as well as patients suffering from chronic ailments. Come, lets us together take some little green steps for health and environment.

This article is reproduced as part of BW Businessworld’s campaign to promote and educate the people of India on the need for a cleaner and greener environment. We strive to make our cities of tomorrow smarter through viable urban mobility solutions like cycling and walking.

BW Businessworld Smart Cities Conclave & Awards is a platform that endeavours to engage smart cities, thought leaders and innovators to bring forth smart and sustainable ideas that can link our progressive cities to solutions that are best suited for them.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Ashish Mehrotra

The author is Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Max Bupa Health Insurance

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