Walking Independence: Perspectives Across 3 Generations, During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

By: Juanita Nidhindra.

We are living in truly unprecedented times. While adjusting to the “new normal”, I find myself reflecting on some of the most fundamental aspects of our pre-coronavirus lives and comparing them with a new perspective. Simple pleasures, like hugging a friend or going to a movie theater, are things I miss. Even basic activities, like walking, are actions we probably take for granted.

Walking is a habit for many of us. For me, it is a passion and my most common way to be active. It’s one of the reasons I feel so strongly about our mission at Moterum Technologies (promoting walking independence). In times like these, and with the new lens, I find myself viewing the world, wondering – what does movement mean to each of us?

Like many of us, I live in a place where we are experiencing a near-lockdown situation to combat coronavirus. Movement outside our homes is limited, that includes walks for leisure or exercise. My parents are in their 70s, I am in my 40s and my son is in his teens. In these unique times, it has become clear to me that moving and walking carry a different significance for each of us.

For me…

Walking is something I do daily, without a second thought. On days I am less active I feel guilty that I am not maximizing my physical and mental health (and that I am being deprived of the wonderful, exercise-induced endorphins). Many of us in our 40s have Garmins, Fitbits or Apple watches which nudge us to complete a 10,000 step goal. We compare step counts with our friends and colleagues and exchange metrics through many amazing fitness apps. It can get competitive but also gives us rewarding moments that we crave for, when we reach our goals or outpace our fittest friends. So, currently, with my movement restricted, I find myself wondering everyday “When will I be able to do my 5 mile run again?

For my Mom and Dad…

Walking means a feeling of independence and being in control. It is their ability to rise above chronic pains and arthritis issues, apprehensions of stroke, keep their hearts healthy, and their blood pressure in check. Most of all, it leaves them with a feeling of accomplishment that they are improving their health and making attempts to slow the (sometimes unforgiving) aging process. I find them rejuvenated by a trip to the park where they can feel the energy around them and can socialize with others. But, occasionally, when I notice their effort required to walk, I realize they may be feeling, “I need to do this to maintain my independence” disguised in the statement “It’s a nice day, I think I’ll take a walk outside for a bit.”

My 14-year old…

He is a completely different story! His energy is boundless and bursting at the seams!! Movement and walking seem to be a prerequisite for nearly everything a teenager needs and wants these days – a game of basketball, meeting his friends who live across the street or just going to grab the latest Starbucks coffee that everyone is talking about. Right now, he simply does not get tired enough to go to sleep each night without basic movement, walking, and exercise. It is no surprise that I hear him say, multiple times a day – “I miss basketball practice! I promise I won’t complain about the warm-ups and cool-downs!! just let me play!!!

Such are the times we are living in! We all share a unique perspective on what these current restrictions mean to us. As we continue to fight this health crisis, here is wishing that we each get our valuable movement routines back again, soon.

Wishing each of you health and wellness!

 

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