Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician

Short stories, Travel and Health Information

Don’t Stop Walking – or Laughing!!

The best medical advice one could be given!

We now know that  jogging, dieting and taking three different blood-pressure lowering tablets every day are not the only remedies for preventing heart disease. Laughing  too can reduce your risk of getting a heart attack!

Most of my friends have now reached the age – and the financial stage – when they have the time, the money and the inclination to start taking up golf.

They tell me that it is a great way to exercise – to spend a couple of hours early in the morning walking in the beautiful surroundings of a golf course, enjoying the company of like minded individuals and following these small hard white balls around the green. During the process of walking around the eighteen holes of a golf course and playing a proper game of golf, a golfer not only walks but also has the opportunity to swing his or her hands seventy to eighty times (or more, depending on their level of skill). It is great exercise, I am told, not just for the legs but also for the arms and shoulders and hips.

If this is how they enjoy getting their exercise, this is wonderful – and I am happy for them. Each, I say, to his own.

To proletarian me, however, playing golf seems to be just a very expensive way of walking – a form of exercise of which I am a great advocate. I myself do a good early morning walk (without carrying a set of golf clubs with me) most days of the week, more often than not in the company of a friend or two, enjoying the salubrious atmosphere of Galle Face Green. I probably get the same amount of exercise as my golfing friends – and the beauty of my type of exercise is that I don’t have to pay a cent for the privilege of doing it! So far I have not had to spend good money on golf clubs or Golf Clubs. Buying a good set of clubs, I am told, can set you back a pretty packet – and paying application fees and annual membership fees to join a Golf Club certainly does not come cheap.

Anyway, now that I have I have reached the age when I can count several friends who are members of these posh golf clubs, I decided to avail myself of their invitation recently to visit the club and see for myself what this expensive form of getting exercise was all about. Being well aware of my plebian ways, my friends prudently told me to dress for the occasion. Slippers, I was informed, were definitely not de rigeur – not even expensive Spanish leather slippers. It was alright, they said, to wear slippers if I was wearing national dress or if I was wearing a saree – but if I was coming dressed in slacks and shirt (even slacks from Harrods accompanied by a shirt from the Emporio Armani), I would not be allowed into the clubhouse if I came in slippers. The Brown Sahib, I discovered, is still alive and well in Sri Lanka.

So the other day, I (dressed in a proper pair of shoes) accompanied my friends on their morning round of golf.

It was a beautiful place, this clubhouse into which they took me – reminiscent of the good old days of the British Raj – and I spent a pleasant time enjoying the view of the green, reading the papers and sipping a well brewed cup of Sri Lankan tea. My friends had their exercise and returned in due course to the clubhouse, where we had a good breakfast – which probably replaced all the calories they had expended on their walk around the nine holes of the golf course.

I guess it does not really matter in what form you get your exercise – whether you walk or swim or jog or play golf. What matters is that you exercise regularly – and if you do it with a friend, so much the better.

But if you, like me, are not a person who wants to start playing golf in their old age, the best piece of advice I can share with you is this:



3 comments on “Don’t Stop Walking – or Laughing!!

  1. Shivantha Wijesinha
    May 28, 2012

    Nice One Tha. Well done. Proud of you.
    Let’s keep building this website.


  2. Mai Maddisson
    June 1, 2012

    That sounds cool: But it has two prerequisites.

    1. the person has to have soemthing to laugh about and its corollary
    2. that what those around that person are laughing about doesn’t hit below the latter’s belt.

    Perhaps it’s ‘cool’ for those who have spent most of their lives in a cosy cocoon.

    Solitude works wonders for those who haven’t lived in such a cocoon.

    I won’t question your walking bit: Walked 22 km in a day in Vancouver last year: age 69!


  3. Sunil G Wijesinha
    July 9, 2012

    Sanjiva, I just returned from my post retirement holiday. Your article reminded me of a cartoon a few years ago. A man is lying on his hammock in his back garden and sees the neighbour going out walking and asks him whether he is going for a jog. Neighbour answers that the latest medical advice is that jogging is not good and walking is better. The man on the hammock replies “I seem to be ahead of time, very soon they will say laying on a hammock is the best”.

    Anyway now I will have more time for walking, laughing, and even singing. You may be surprised at my singing. In Lower 3 B we had an audition, we had to recite 3 blind mice, you were selected and i was not. I still wonder how you did it.


Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on May 28, 2012 by in Uncategorized.

Book: Tales From my Island