I tried many things to keep myself fit. Went to the gym for couple of months (bought new shoes, gym kit, one year subscription, personal trainer, etc.), but lost interest half way, then tried treadmill at home. Treadmill is better used to hang clothes at home than as a fitness machine. Finally, for the last four months, going for a walk at Lalbagh, religiously walking 10000 steps a day, means around eight kilometers. Not sure, how long this new drama will continue.
Lalbagh, the lung space of Bangalore is spread over 240 acres (in the paper, not sure if they actually measured to check how big it is!). This place draws tourists and morning walkers in equal measure. If you go to Lalbagh, you can see thousands of people walking in the morning hours!
During my one and half hour long walking daily, I could see many specimens like me doing a variety of stuff. The majority of the crowd are senior citizens, they come in groups (I wish to have such large number of friends during my retirement life), they chat, walk and mostly eat in the nearby restaurant (yes, the same kinds of savouries and sweets which they are not allowed to eat at their home due to health reasons). I can also see young joggers, brisk walkers, yoga freaks, and laughing club folks.
Of all, some of the specimens caught my attention and they are worth mentioning here.
8 (infinity) shaped walking
There are two locations at Lalbagh where many people walk in the shape 8 (see the pic of one location). When so much space is available in Lalbagh, I wondered why a few individuals keep walking in eight shape around two trees. Then I read this –
Do you want miraculous benefits? Then practice 8 shaped walks for 30 minutes daily, experts say. During a walk in the 8 shape, the entire body is twisted thereby all organs are activated, helps to clear stuffy nose, allows free-breathing! (I am not saying this, credit should go to experts)
Zig zag walking
When we walk on the track, some individuals walk in a zig-zag manner, honestly quite irritating to watch them. Then I checked, is this a method of walking? Are there specialists for this weird way of walking as well? To my surprise, yes! Zig Zag walking is good for body balancing, improve motor skills, and helps develop concentration.
Hug a tree
I have seen some individuals hugging trees in Lalbagh. Crazy, isn’t it? When thousands of people are walking, a few of them go and hug trees. Hey, this is not a fake WhatsApp message! I have been seeing this every day! (You want to see it? Come with me for the Lalbagh walk, will show you all the specimens)
I read this headline – Feeling lonely? Go hug a tree. It might make you feel better! (Assume as part of social distancing norms, this is not banned by PM / CM as Covid Protocol!)
I understand hugging a tree increases levels of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is responsible for feeling calm and emotional bonding. When hugging a tree, the hormones serotonin and dopamine make you feel happier.
Another nut case! I find many individuals walk backwards! I felt these guys are bored of routine fitness walks. So, they are trying to do things differently. If I say these are silly or useless, then I will be wrong! The subject experts (for this as well, maybe if I search, I can find PhD in Backward walking) say it helps both physical and mental well-being. It enhances overall mood, increases strength in lesser-used leg muscles, burns calories, helps rehabilitate knee injuries and the list goes on.
The public places are not so clean that one can walk barefoot. Agree? Come to Lalbagh, you will be surprised to see many individuals walk barefoot. Want to know the benefit? It helps to better control your foot position when it strikes the ground, stronger leg muscles, which support the lower back region, etc.
I know a therapist who gets foreigners for treatment in Karnataka. I have seen him making them walk barefoot for miles on mud-roads. They enjoy this! For them, anything new is exciting!
Of all, the best one and the last one on my list – crawling. On the other day, I saw a gentleman, well dressed, crawling in the internal pathways at Lalbagh! Initially, I thought, he lost his phone or purse, maybe searching. But I realized that it is a form of exercise when he was moving fast from one end to another end, back and forth.
I couldn’t believe it when someone told me that crawling is the next big fitness trend. Just imagine, 100s of adults crawling in parks! What a bizarre workout. Fitness enthusiasts believe it engages the entire body, works the core, and improves balance, coordination, strength, and agility.
These are the exercise methods I have observed other than laughing in groups, shaking hands, legs, etc. (they are so common that they can’t make it to the final list of this document!)
Friends, if I find anything more interesting, will update this article in the future. If you want to see or try, join Lalbagh morning walkers.
Till then do whatever you are doing now. If you try any of this, please send the pics. I will post it here!