When the national lockdown was imposed last March, I had just completed hundred days of my holistic health management programme under Rachna’s guidance. By then I got into a good rhythm of adhering to the prescribed food-water-sleep-exercise regime. Lockdown meant work from home, and back to back video meetings throughout the day. My new working days actually started an hour earlier and ended three hours later than usual, given the pressure of managing supply chains disrupted by COVID. My daily rhythm got disturbed. Complying with the food and water recommendations was not a challenge, but the additional working hours obviously ate into the sleep and exercise time.

Before the impact showed up on my weighing machine, I reached out to Rachna for advice.

She said, “If you are sitting for 90 minutes at a stretch, get up and walk for fifteen minutes; that’s the best way to increase your metabolic rate”.

That meant nearly two hours of walking every day in aggregate. Since I was already short of time, this walking idea was not going to work unless I shifted a few things I was doing from sitting to walking.   

The most obvious thing was to do all the phone calls while walking. I know this is a common practice with many people, but I started it only after this trigger.

Soon, I also started talking on the phone with no one at the other end. I mean, dictating emails 😜 , of course, I would send them only after I had a chance to review & edit, once I got back to my desk because I am a spelling & grammar nazi myself.

Walking also came in quite handy to prepare for my talks. Those of you connected with me on social media recall that I was averaging at least one webinar a week those days – ranging from the importance of agriculture reforms to supply chain innovations, or simply crystal-ball-gazing into what the new normal would look like.

My first walk of the day is normally in our home garden. While I am walking I would keep looking for subjects in the garden to photograph and keep thinking about the possible captions. At the end of the walk, I quickly shoot those pics. Many of you would have seen my multiple #HomeGarden threads on Twitter.


My consumption of Blinkist shifted from reading to playing audio. This released a lot of time from my daily reading schedule. If you use Blinkist, don’t miss reading some books on the history of science or economics. Awesome stuff.

Along the way, as work pressure eased a little, I also discovered many other podcasts. TED Audio, for example. Till then I knew only about TED Talks in the video format. 

Now that audio platforms like Clubhouse have become popular, participation in group conversations while walking is another activity you can add to this list.

A popular activity I kept for the end is listening to songs. Or watching TV, if you are on treadmill.

The title says ten things, but I stopped with nine activities. The idea is for you to add at least one more idea in the comments section below. I am sure you would’ve discovered different things that work best for you. Do share it with others here…

S. Sivakumar

A senior business leader at ITC Ltd. He could hide behind lack of time but has healed himself, lost 35 kg and walks the talk on making time for yourself to get healthy.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences, Sir.

    I completed many short courses on Coursera and YouTube while walking. That way I could convert video minutes into walking minutes.

    I do Swipe Typing while walking. Earlier I used to stop for a while to send messages. But this option is a good saviour.

  2. Interesting list, with quite a few that I have incorporated, and some that I look forward to adding now.
    My idea for the 10th activity is online shopping on the phone, something we are all doing a lot of, since last year.

  3. You wanted a 10th point. Here are some more though !!

    Walking while calling actually compresses time perceived for the exercise. You don’t necessarily realise you have taken so many steps !

    Second, with our 24/7 schedule, what gets ignored are those very needed calls now to family and friends some of who are also old and more disconnected. They appreciate these calls much more. Particularly those who are facing trauma in their families. Such calls during walks give them more air time than squeezing between work tasks.

    Finally and 🤣🤣 just wearing earphones even without listening to anything and walking give you some ‘me time’ and quiet time as no one talks to you thinking you won’t be able to listen !!!!


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