Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Power Walking – Take it up a Notch


Have you always dreamt of becoming fitter, getting those flat tummy muscles and bursting with energy, but bored of the everyday exercise routines? Want to learn something new to lose weight? Then read on, as all you require for what I am about to tell you are your own two feet and a good pair of shoes.

    Power walking, also known as speed walking, is nothing but rapid walking with one foot always on the ground accompanied by vigorous swinging of the arms. Hundreds of doctors recommend it and research studies can’t stop lauding its benefits. Experts  in the field  of sports and fitness have described walking as "the nearest activity to perfect exercise". You may wonder how something so simple can be so significant, but as you begin to learn more and more about your body and the benefits of power walking you will realize that it is true; the action of walking may be simple but the results for your health and daily living are far reaching.

    While most of us are familiar with the benefits of jogging, power walking comes as boon to those who want to take it easy on the joints. This is because when you power walk, you hit the ground with less than half the force when you jog. Now this doesn’t mean you pick your shoes and start speed walking. This aerobic activity comes with a little practice. Its recommended you start with regular walking speed and work on your pace on a daily basis. Once you hit an average of 7-9 km/hr and a regime of 4-6 power walks a week 20-30 minutes a day, that’s when you can call yourself a pro.

    Power walking not only burns calories but it also builds your upper body muscles, strengthening and firming them.  It is the most natural and fundamental of all human conscious movements; it can be done by anyone and anywhere. There is no age limit, its free it and can be done anytime during the day.  To get the maximum benefits, make sure you get a good pair of walking shoes. You will want to invest in some really good ones. Walking shoes that are not too heavy, are roomy, and have some give. When you bend the shoe, it should give easily at the ball of the foot, and when it is on your foot, make sure there is a thumb’s width of space from the front of the shoe to your big toe. Shoes that are too tight or firm will make it hard for you to walk comfortably for very long. As for the attire, any comfortable clothing would do. You do not need to invest in special clothes or equipment to power walk effectively.

    Atul Jagdale, a freelance personal trainer rightly quotes, “Walking is the most natural thing to do – at your own pace and time. Power walking works as an icing on the cake since its very effective for weight loss. To top it you don’t spend much.”

A few tips to keep in mind when you  start power walking:

1.       Avoid busy streets.  Look for a garden or a race course close by for this process. If you are using a treadmill, try to picture exotic locations like a beach or vast grasslands. This will keep your mind relaxed and boost you to complete your daily rounds.

2.       Take short quick steps than long strides. It’s surprising how much farther you can go this way.

3.       Swing your arms and close your fists in a relaxed way. This way you’d walk faster. Make sure your elbow is bend to 90 degrees.

4.       Keep your posture right. Stick that tummy in and tighten your butt.

5.       Breathe naturally. As you walk, take deep, rhythmic breaths, to get the maximum amount of oxygen through your system. Walk fast enough that your breathing is increased yet you are not out of breath.

6.       Take short breaks if you go breathless. Adding intervals is the fastest way to get fitter.

7.       To get that speed, try to think you are running late and don’t care a hoot about the onlookers.

8.       Last but not least, make your walk fun. Belt a Mp3 player along to keep yourself in rhythm. If you can find a partner to hook up with, nothing like it!

So take that speedy stroll to 'switch off' and stay healthy!

This article was printed in the Oct issue of Pune City Digest Magazine

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


                Love is really funny. A cute smart girl & a handsome witty guy worked in the same office for 2 years. Both sort of liked each other, apparently visible from the smiles exchanged while crossing each others cubicles. The guy would throw a few flirtatious filmy compliments on chats. He would secretly send her an anonymous bouquet of flowers & a cute teddy bear on her birthday. She knew it somewhere that it was him, but never had the courage to ask. Time went by. Some months later the girl had to go for an international trip. Casually she told him that she did not have a nice jacket for the trip. Knowing that his brand new jacket was oversize for her, he still offered it like a hero and she too accepted it with a smile.

             Who knew that a jacket & the time spent away from each other would bring them closer.
With every ticking  second of the many international calls, their hearts started to beat in unison. They knew right then that they wanted to spend their life with each other.
              This is the story of Arthi & Glenn.
              To Love, To Laughter, To Happiness Ever After!
              To Arthi & Glenn. Here's wishing you guys a lifetime of happiness!

                                                                                                       ~Prashant Joshi

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Humble Spirit

In his own eyes, Mike was the most popular guy around. "A lot of women are gonna be totally miserable when I marry," he boasted to his date.

"Really?" she said. "And just how many women are you intending to marry?" (Maybe you new that guy.)

But I like the story of a young woman who wanted to go to college. Her heart sank, however, when she read the question on the admission form that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst.

To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear applicant: A study of the admission forms reveals that this year our school will enroll 1,452 new leaders. We would like to accept you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower."

Sometimes a little bit of humble pie goes well with a rich meal. Actually, what passes for conceit in many people is often just a plea for attention. A poor sense of self may cause one to want to be the prominent star in every constellation. Humility, on the other hand, does not require that one shine less brightly than others, simply that all be given opportunity to shine.

That great 19th Century African American educator Booker T. Washington exemplified the power of a simple and modest spirit. A story is told of a day when Washington, then a professor at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, happened to pass the mansion of a wealthy woman as he walked to work. The woman did not recognize him and called out, "Hey you! Come here! I need some wood chopped!" She was a product of her southern post-Civil War culture and simply perceived him as a black man who was there to do her bidding.
Without a word, Dr. Washington peeled off his jacket, picked up the ax and went to work. He not only cut a large pile of wood, he also carried the firewood into the house and arranged it neatly by the fireplace.

He had scarcely left when a servant said to the woman, "I guess you didn't recognize him, ma'am, but that was Professor Washington!" Embarrassed and ashamed, the woman hurried over to Tuskegee Institute to apologize. The great educator respectfully replied: "There's no need to apologize, madam. I'm delighted to do favors for my friends."

The professor may have taught one of his greatest lessons that day. It was a lesson about astronomy: he taught that every star can shine without one out-shining all the others. It was a lesson about peace: he taught how self-interest must often be set aside for the good of the whole. And it was a lesson about spirituality: he taught about the power of a meek and humble spirit in a world where aggression is too-often confused with strength.

It is a lesson we are still learning.

-- Steve Goodier

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