Inspired by Rahul Gandhi’s padyatra? ‘Over-walking’ no shortcut to health, warn experts
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi this month launched the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ – a 3,570-km walk.
Gandhi, 52, makes his way through the southern states he will walk about 25 kilometers or more than 35,000 steps every day and continues to do so for five months from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He has covered a distance of about 350 kms till now.
While this is an unprecedented political move, one has to wonder what kind of damage it can leave on Gandhi’s health. It also begs the question – is ‘over-walking’ appropriate for someone who is not an athlete but is otherwise as fit as Gandhi? For now, the yatra consists of a rest day every week, when, say Congress leaders, medical camps are held and yoga is conducted for the participants.
News18 spoke to experts who said the latest craze to record maximum steps on trendy smart watches or Fitbit devices has increased daily walking and ‘over-walking’ among youth, middle-aged and even older people. The distinction between is blurred.
In Gandhi’s case too, excessive walking can not only lead to extreme fatigue, foot ulcers, shoe bites or pain in the hip joint, but also a host of health problems such as anemia, dehydration or muscle strain.
Health experts suggest that walking is good for the heart and overall health, but more walking does more harm than benefit to the average person.
While the benefits of walking are visible in the long term, the side-effects may become apparent in the short term. Therefore, one should pay attention when the good feelings associated with running begin to fade or are replaced by feelings of fatigue and stress, several doctors told News18.com.
According to Dr. Abhishek Jain, Orthopedist, Foot and Ankle and Sports Injuries Specialist at the Indian Spinal Injuries Center (ISIC), Delhi, “There is a long-term treatment of diseases like foot ulcers, shoe bites, shin sprains, heel pain. Walking. 25 kms is very possible and clear”.
He adds: “It is important to examine your body from head to toe to analyze wear and tear caused by exercise, including walking.”
Other health experts also echoed similar concerns and said that the duration of any exercise, whether it is walking regularly, needs attention.
Walking, the easiest and most common form of exercise, is economical, natural and does not require any special training or equipment. Dr Rajeev Jayadevan, senior consultant gastroenterologist and former president of the Indian Medical Association, said, “However, for someone who is always sedentary, suddenly walking five miles a day has the potential to cause some kind of injury.”
He said: “For a person already walking 3,000 or 5,000 steps a day, walking 10,000 or 15,000 steps a day would not be a problem.”
What happens if someone walks more?
Attention should be paid to any muscle complaints or injuries, especially if the pain is persistent. “Exercise like walking leads to wear and tear in our joints,” said Jain of ISIC.
There is a possibility that exercise causes minor muscle tears, which the human body repairs over time. Experts agree that if these muscles torn, they need time and rest to recover.
When a person over-trains or does strenuous exercise, the human body cannot keep up with that stiffness.
For example, Jain said, “thigh and leg muscle fatigue and hip joint pain are to be expected, especially when you are not a typical walker, sports person and when you are low on vitamins D and B12.” were running.”
Dr Manish Sontake, Senior Joint Replacement and Spine Surgeon, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, said: “Any exercise in which our weight falls on our knees is not an exercise for our knees. If walking was an exercise in our knees, why would people suffer from osteoarthritis? And why would I need to replace my knee every day?”
Sontake, who continues to tell his patients not to walk much, continues: “When we sit or sit on the ground and try to get up, the pressure in our knees is about twice our body weight. . A joint will wear out when the load on it is high or it is repeatedly exposed to cyclic loading.
Exercises such as cycling with weights, leg extensions and leg curls are the only recommended training for the knees because the weight of the body does not fall on the joint.
Doctors recommend that the basics to start walking is to stop comparing it with the achievements of others. Everyone has to find their own limits, respect the body’s capabilities and medical conditions, and exercise accordingly.
“For example, someone who has just recovered from COVID-19 should not do vigorous exercise for at least three months. People with heart problems should check with their doctor about what they can and cannot do,” Jayadevan said.
Not only orthopedic, over walk can cause more problems. According to Dr Sumit Ray, Head of the Department, Critical Care Medicine and Medical Director, Holy Family Hospital, Delhi: “Long walking or running can also lead to significant fatigue due to continuous or persistent unrecognized dehydration.”
Ray pointed out that excessive walking also causes an “uncommon occurrence” of anemia, “particularly in young women, by a complex mechanism”.
How to determine your walking strength?
Dr Deepak Agarwal, Consultant for Orthopedic and Spine Surgery at Paras Hospital, Udaipur, said that the amount of walking a person should be able to do is determined by their physical build.
“For people who never walk and then suddenly start walking 25 kilometers or more, it will injure their muscles and they may develop plantar fasciitis as a result of overuse of the leg muscles.”
A sudden increase in walking duration can sometimes lead to stress fractures, which can also cause micro-trauma to the joints.
“This can lead to early arthritis,” Agarwal said. “On the other hand, if the person is physically fit (usually walks 5-10 km), they can gradually walk up to 25-30 km. In the case of Rahul Gandhi, he is not actively involved in physical activities like walking, so it will be difficult,” said Agarwal.
best way to walk
Experts agree that walking is one of the best things to do for physical, mental and heart health.
“The key to long-term success is to pace yourself and listen to the signals the body gives,” said Jain of ISIC.
The right amount of consistent walking program improves health in many ways.
“Walking has been shown to improve heart health, reduce blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer and dementia, in addition to increasing bone strength,” Jayadevan said.
In short, it doesn’t matter how much exercise we do every day, but how often we do it over a long period of time. “Health is a long-term investment, there is no shortcut to it,” Jayadevan said.
Paras K Agarwal said, “Putting yourself ahead, not overdoing it and working on your endurance is the key to long-term success.” I
read all latest news of india And today’s fresh news Here