Vinod Bajaj, a 70-year-old man, born in Punjab now based in Ireland has applied for a Guinness World Record after completing ‘Earth Walk’. Vinod who has been doing the walk in his (now) hometown of Limerick since August 2016 says he has covered over 40,075 kilometres – equivalent of the circumference of the earth in 1496 days under 1,500 days – making it Earth Walk.
Vinod began his journey in 2016 with the goal of losing some weight. He continued and even charted varying routes to include indoor malls to overcome weather constraints.
“During the first three months of my walking seven days a week, I lost 8 kg by having a deficit of 700 calories per day. Over the next six months, I lost a further 12 kg. The loss of weight was almost entirely due to walking and I did not have to change much of my eating habits,” said Bajaj.
“Typically, I started walking early in the morning and completed mostly in two intervals, the first one was always for a longer duration. There were many times I did the entire walk in a single attempt. Starting early allowed me to finish up by early afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to do things such as shopping, bank work, house and garden work,” he said.
Vinod has been living with his family at Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick, for the last 36 years.
“By the end of the first year I walked 7,600 km and to my surprise, I found that in fact, I walked to India from Ireland. I continued walking and by the end of year two, I walked a cumulative total of 15,200 km and I found that in fact, I walked more than the circumference of the moon (10,921 km). This motivated me further and I decided to walk the circumference of Mars (21,344 km),” he recalls.
“The difference between the Mars Walk and Earth Walk was approximately 19,000 km and I knew it was not going to be easy. I continued walking with an aim to complete my ultimate goal,” he says, in reference to his Earth Walk, which he completed on September 21.
His application with the Guinness World Record is currently under consideration.
Bajaj wants to spread the message that walking is the best form of exercise for all ages – “better than running or jogging and it is free”.
“Loneliness will be the biggest walking challenge and can partially be overcome by listening to music or podcasts. Make the umbrella your best friend so that no weather will upset your walk plan and self-motivation, discipline, consistency and time management are key”.