London, October 17
A 70-year-old man, born in Punjab and a resident of Ireland for more than 40 years, has applied for a Guinness Book of Records after completing what he calls the Earth March – covering more than 40,075 kilometers or the equivalent circumference of the Earth. In less than 1500 days – without leaving Limerick.
Vinod Bajaj started his journey in August 2016 with the modest goal of losing some weight and getting fit.
While he was shedding kilograms, his enthusiasm for just walking doubled and led him to chart different routes, including through indoor malls to get around the weather restrictions.
“During the first three months of walking seven days a week, I lost 8 kilograms due to a deficit of 700 calories per day. During the next six months, I lost another 12 kilograms.” Bajaj said, “The weight loss was almost entirely due to walking and I didn’t have to change much My food habits. “
“Usually, I started walking early in the morning and completed most of it in two shifts, the first was always for longer. There were several times where I walked the whole in one attempt. Starting early allowed me to finish in the early afternoon, which allowed me a lot of time To do things like shopping, banking, home and garden work. “
A retired engineer and business consultant grew up in Chennai and moved to Scotland in 1975 to obtain a master’s degree in management from Glasgow before moving to the Republic of Ireland 43 years ago, where he had been living with his family in Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick, for 36 years.
It was local Irish and world news that kept him on his companions during his long walks, which are within a 10 km radius of Castletroy.
He also downloaded the Pacer Activity tracker app on his smartphone to keep a complete track of his steps and logs indicating his milestones along the way.
“By the end of the first year, I had walked 7,600 kilometers and to my amazement, I found that, in fact, I had walked to India from Ireland. I continued walking and by the end of the second year I had walked for a total cumulative distance of 15,200 km and found that I had actually walked more than the circumference of the Moon (10,921 km). This motivated me. More and decided to walk in the vicinity of Mars (21,344 km), “he remembers.
“The difference between the Mars march and the Earth walk was about 19,000 kilometers and I knew it would not be easy. I continued walking with the goal of completing my final goal,” referring to his walk on Earth, which he completed on September 21.
His application for the Guinness Book of Records is currently subject to work as they assess whether his career covered the equivalent of an Earth’s circumference in 1,496 days and 54633135 steps leading to the cut.
Meanwhile, his walking mission continues despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 lockdown, which just means he has to repeat his routes multiple times a day to achieve his daily walking goal.
It also keeps itself full of almonds, cashews, walnuts, and bananas to keep energy levels high while walking. “My wife and brothers were not affected at first because they all felt that I was walking a lot and that my health would be affected. In the end, they came reluctantly and now I hope that I will walk less and not try to walk on the ground again, counterclockwise,” he jokes.
As he waits for a response to his potential world record, Bajaj is keen to spread the message that walking is the best form of exercise for all ages – “better than running or jogging and it’s free.”
Having practiced 12 pairs of shoes, an average of three a year, during the Earth Walk, his central tip is to invest in a good pair of walking shoes and socks.
And other tips for your walking buddies: “Loneliness will be the greatest challenge in walking and can be partially overcome by listening to music or podcasts. Make the umbrella your best friend so that the weather does not disturb your walking plan, self-motivation, discipline, consistency and time management is key.” PTI
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