Vinay Sheel loves to walk, say his Karol Bagh neighbours who have seen him for the past 14 years. They've got it wrong. Sheel, 58, doesn't enjoy walking. He does it only because his doctor's has ordered it.
"I had a heart attack when I was 44 and was advised 40 minutes exercise every day, so I do it unfailingly," says Sheel. Wife Neelam, 53, and son Mohit, 25, never accompany him. They don't have any problem so they don't need exercise, he says.
The family is fairly representative of the rest of Delhi. A survey of 1,000 morning walkers in 9 parks in south Delhi and Noida shows that two in three walkers got moving only after being diagnosed with a major disease or risk factors such as diabetes.
Done by Max Heart and Vascular Institute, Delhi, the findings surprised the doctors who got the survey done to document health-seeking behaviour of Delhiites. "We found that only 36 per cent of the people surveyed were walking because they wanted to be fit and healthy. The rest were doing so after developing health problems," says Dr Ashok Seth, chief cardiologist at Max Heart and Vascular Institute.