Walking is perhaps the best exercise we can give ourselves. It activates the brain to maintain balance, keeps the spine straight, exerts all muscles of the lower limbs, improves vision and sharpens reflexes. After all, man has simian characteristics and is meant to be on the move, not sit around idly all day. No wonder, people several decades ago lived long lives free from obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes – maladies that haunt the whole world in the twenty-first century.

It’s not that we have forgotten the benefits of walking, or given up the habit. Millions of people all over the world regularly go for walks, especially in the morning in urban areas. For those living in villages, walking long distances is an integral part of everyday work – be it farming, trade or vocation. The modern urban man’s day, however, is chock-a-bloc with so many activities crammed into it that he is compelled to use all the latest gadgets in order to save that rare, precious resource – TIME! And all these gadgets have one thing in common; they make all his tasks incredibly fast, comfortably convenient and increasingly easy.

Unfortunately, this ‘urbane’ lifestyle has several ‘banes’. Ever-increasing expectations, dissatisfaction, frustration, irritation and the subsequent anxiety take their toll on the human body, mind and soul. Couple this with sedentary lifestyle, excessive indulgence and overworked mind – and we reach that all-too well-known stage of ‘HURRY, WORRY and CURRY’ – the perfect recipe for ill-health and suffering!

While a few zealous young urbanites hit the gym and pump iron to build six pack abs and bulging biceps, some ‘mellowed ones’ take to walking to keep fit. Even this comes at a cost. Sweat shirts, track pants, walking shoes etc all cost a bomb nowadays. Moreover, dozens of walkers closely following one another on the same path resemble a line of ants marching in an endless circle! More competition for the quick pacers from the slower snails. Then there’s always the peril of moving vehicles, if you are walking on the roads, with footpaths either dug up, potholed, encroached upon or simply missing.

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But the worst nemesis of these early walkers is the pollution in most cities and towns. Automobile exhausts and gaseous industrial emissions add harmful toxins like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide to the air. Moreover, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) consisting of dust, fumes, mist and smoke contain lethal chemicals like, lead, arsenic and nickel. These particles when breathed in, lodge in our lung tissues and cause lung damage, respiratory problems, irritation of the eyes, skin allergies etc. Did you know that most metros like Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai have Air Quality Indices (AQI) over 150, when the acceptable AQI level is 50-100? And this pollution is detrimental to not just humans, but also to animals, birds, plants and insects – equally important biological components of the environment.
Now, what’s with all these facts and figures, you might ask. Have you ever wondered whether morning walks in the city are indeed beneficial at all? Agreed, muscles get a workout. But what about our lungs? With walking we only inhale more of these toxic substances. Are we really helping our bodies, or unknowingly harming them even more?

We at PPROM gave this issue a lot of thought and introduced garden roads at our landmark housing project ‘KUTUMB’ at village Gavtale in Dapoli, Ratnagiri district. Cute country paths winding through the lush greenery of myriad trees planted along the 65 bungalow township. With nothing but pristine nature for company, a walk here is just as nourishing to the soul as to the body. Pollutants in the air are replaced with clean, pure oxygen; irritating traffic noise is changed to chirping of happy birds and swishing of tree branches in the gentle breeze; tranquillity pervades the serene surroundings. Don’t all these give you peace and joy like the loving, safe and secure embrace of your mother long ago?

Come, be a part of KUTUMB. And enjoy salubrious nature at its best. Be born again on these WALWAYS OF LIFE!