A 70-year-old man, born in Punjab and residing in Ireland for over 40 years, applied for a Guinness World Record after completing what he calls his Earth Walk covering over 40,075 kilometers or the equivalent of the Earth̵
Vinod Bajaj began his journey in August 2016 with the humble goal of losing weight and getting back in shape.
As he lost the kilograms, his enthusiasm for walking multiplied and led him to trace different routes, including through indoor shopping malls to overcome weather constraints.
During the first three months of walking seven days a week, I lost 8 kg with a deficit of 700 calories per day. Over the next six months, I lost another 12 kg. The weight loss was almost entirely due to walking and I didn’t have to change much of my eating habits, Bajaj said.
Typically, I started walking early in the morning and completed mainly in two intervals, the first was always for a longer duration. There have been many times when I’ve done the whole walk in one go. Starting early allowed me to finish in the early afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to do things like grocery shopping, bank jobs, house and garden, she said.
The retired engineer and business consultant grew up in Chennai and moved to Scotland in 1975 for a Masters in Management in Glasgow before the job took him to the Republic of Ireland 43 years ago, where he lives with his family in Castletroy , a suburb of Limerick, for 36 years.
It was the local Irish and world news that kept him company during his long walks, which fell within 10km of Castletroy.
He also downloaded the Pacer activity tracking app on his smartphone to keep full track of his steps, and his recordings marked his milestones along the way.
By the end of the first year I had covered 7,600km and to my surprise I found that I had actually come to India from Ireland. I kept walking and at the end of the second year I walked a cumulative total of 15,200 km and found that I actually walked more than the moon’s circumference (10,921 km). This motivated me further and I decided to walk the circumference of Mars (21,344 km), remember.
The difference between Mars Walk and Earth Walk was about 19,000km and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I kept walking with the goal of completing my ultimate goal, he says, in reference to his Earth Walk, which he completed on September 21.
His application for the Guinness World Record is currently being processed as they assess whether his walk covering the equivalent of the Earth’s circumference in 1,496 days and 54,633,135 steps makes the cut.
Meanwhile, his walking mission continues despite COVID-19 lockdown constraints, which only means he has to repeat his routes a few times a day to reach his daily walking goal.
It also keeps itself stocked with almonds, cashews, walnuts, and bananas to keep energy levels high during walks.
My wife and siblings were not initially impressed as they felt I was walking too much and my health would be compromised. They eventually came reluctantly and now I hope I will cut back on my walk and not attempt a second walk on earth, counterclockwise, he jokes.
Waiting for a response on its potential world record, Bajaj wants to spread the message that walking is the best form of exercise for all ages “better than running or jogging and it’s free”.
After walking 12 pairs of shoes, on average three per year, on his Earth Walk, his core advice is to invest in a good pair of walking shoes and socks.
His other tip for other walkers: Loneliness will be the biggest walking challenge and can be partially overcome by listening to music or podcasts. Make the umbrella your best friend so no time can upset your walking schedule and self-motivation, discipline, consistency, and time management are key.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by the NDTV staff and is posted by a syndicated feed.)