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Recently I got myself enrolled for a walking challenge with the intention to achieve serious results. I want to lose weight and get into the healthy habit of walking.

How many of us are living a healthy lifestyle in today’s reality, where things and work are getting easier to be done with the help of technology and machines? We use elevators and lifts instead of stairs. Washing machines and vacuum cleaners have taken away physical work. Cooking has become effortless with mixers, grinders and roti makers. Reasons for obesity and other health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid and many more are due to the lack of physical exercises in our lives. Now, what we do in the gym for an hour can easily be done at home, just by bringing a little change in our lifestyle maintaining a regime for walking and more.

There are so many events, activities happening these days like yoga, outdoor exercises, fitness challenges, and specially promoting walking events, to create awareness for fitness and healthy lifestyle. Our body is our permanent home. We should love it, take care of it. Many people participate in such events positively.

As we are living in a competitive world, I wonder, do people really participate in such challenges understanding that it’s for our own self and not to win or compete with others. Competitions are healthy no doubt but many a times our main aim for participation is lost and forgotten. We shouldn’t be doing it for the sake of first prize and gifts only. It is basically to learn to adopt the healthy lifestyle. It is to help one form a good habit and routine. Set a target for daily basis and try to accomplish that. Break your own records and not of others for others.

What I witnessed in the walking challenge was people were in a race to defeat one other. The steps targets before signing off for the day is set in such a way that the other person can’t beat it. Daily an unbeatable target is set for all who are participating. Many started to get demotivated thinking this is unachievable and we can’t do it. No one was willing to hold hands and do it as team work inspiring each other to go till finish line or say monthly target. What I saw was all age groups had participated. And rather than boosting the elderly person, the youngsters are in with a different mind-set of competition.

‘Struggling against thoughts is what causes stress’. Walking helps to de-stress the mind. A healthy walk daily for around 30 to 45 mins can take you a long way to filling you up with positivity, making your immune system strong and helping build the stamina. Inspire yourself to become an aspiration for others. Leave the competition and do it for yourself and see the change.- The reader is a former banker based in Abu Dhabi.