Walking and vitamin supplementary quakery.

 

the grandsons

Our two grandsons and Mother with Grandmother ahead walking. 2016

We are forever being urged to keep walking. In times gone past we moved about using our legs which took us between different spaces. Inside our homes we still practice moving our legs till this day. Outside it is a different matter. I suppose, when the riding on top of a horse became fashionable, we managed to move a bit faster. In regions with snow and ice, skis and sledges were discovered, but, by and large we used our legs if we wanted to get somewhere…Some countries, the bicycle became a mode of transport which not only served to move people faster but it also kept  legs and body very fit.

This is now all gone. Since the invention of wheels and engines, the car replaced our legs. Not only that, putting wings and engines together gave us flight, and we can now use airplanes to get from A to B. I am not sure at this stage what I am going to arrive at, or indeed what I am aiming for, except that the reason why streets in Australia always seem to be so empty of people might be because we have developed a way of living whereby the use of legs slowly became less important. And the car took over. Today, when we want to go from one place to another, the car clearly dominates over our legs. People think nothing of living somewhere whereby even to get a loaf of bread or the newspaper, they have to jump on wheel carriages and drive the metal box on wheels to get a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk.

I watched a good program on SBS last night how in the US and Australia, the market for vitamins and all sorts of untested medical supplementary paraphernalia is sold over the counter without having to proof their worth of the product nor the veracity of the printed label on the product. . Here it is:

https://www.sbs.com.au/programs/vitamania

Is this why there are so many chemists around? They are a major money making enterprise and one questions to what extend is their concern for our health? Some of the larger chemical shop consortiums are listed on the stock exchange. The huge number of chemist shops are in direct proportion of how far we live away from shops and each other. Even here in Bowral with a population of 12 000, it is spread out over an area the size of Amsterdam which has a population of about a million. In Amsterdam people can walk to get bread, here in Bowral most have to plan a major journey by car or bus to do the same. We are almost next to major hospitals and that has come in very handy. We were so lucky!

It is not always so easy to live near infrastructures such as shops, schools or trains, because most cities and towns have zonings that are either commercial or residentials, and when shops are zoned commercial they generally exclude  residential dwellings. This means that people have to live away from shops or around the shops, and hence we revert to the car instead of our legs. We have cities and towns where very few actually live in those towns or cities. In the evenings they become empty ghost towns because people have gone home in their cars miles away.

Our way of building houses is very dependent on driving. So, by and large, people drive and give up walking, and that is why we are losing the use of legs and for many the only way to get legs moving and supple again is through joining a gym or get a rowing machine/weightlifing equipment stowed in the bedroom. Again to get to the gym, a car drive and not walking is the main mode of transport. It is no wonder so many now have to get knee and hip repairs done. They say; use it or lose it, don’t they? This might also be that  there is a link between our lack of physical movements (walking) and our love of supplementary medicines and vitamins as promoted in chemist consortiums/emporiums. We prop up of what we feel we lack.  Why have we developed a way of housing whereby we live so far from what we often need? And these needs are shops, entertainments, and streets full of people to talk with, and exchange some latest news.

I miss European cities.

 

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37 Responses to “Walking and vitamin supplementary quakery.”

  1. leggypeggy Says:

    We choose to walk when we can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. freefall852 Says:

    Chemists, Gerard, were created to fill a glut of white coats…just as inspectors of various things were created when it was discovered that too many clip-boards were manufactured…legs, I am somewhat certain were originally evolved for kicking shins…but I could be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We have at the last count 4 chemists shops in Bowral servicing a population of about 12 000 people. There is one very large one almost like a supermarket selling everything under the sun, But as always the white coated brigade is on a podium overlooking their disciples. It is not healthy. A lot of medication is now separated with specials for women products differing from men’s products. Apparently a woman’s back pain is different from man’s and needs different medication.

      Liked by 2 people

      • freefall852 Says:

        Well, Gerard..on the seperation of women’s medicine from mens….I hardly need to extrapolate on the wildly varying degrees of discomfort and pain between women’s ordinary flu and the extremity of man-flu…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Says:

    Interesting thoughts, Gerard. Can you imagine what would happen if developers began to build small blocks of apartments or terrace style houses in our towns? Nimbies would be screeching quite loudly, I’m sure. And yet, it would be a way for people to live closer to the action as they do in Europe. We live in town but we are 3 km from the nearest shop, so yes, we do drive. We try to walk into town for a cup of coffee a couple of times a week, but it isn’t an interesting walk at all, and sometimes we put it off. When we are away though, we walk a lot more. We recently had two 10 km days in Melbourne, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Developers are a world on their own and good town-planning is missing terribly. The governments want to receive stamp duty and that’s about as far as planning goes.
      The suburban shopping strips are as dead as doornails in the evening because no-one actually lives inside towns and cities. They live around it and with the much loved single house on a single block it doesn’t take much for several hundred people to live far and wide from shops, schools, public transport, let alone when several thousands follow the suburban sprawl…
      Greater Sydney has a footprint the size of Holland with its 21 million people and still is one of the largest producers of agricultural products in the world. Because of their small size it could not squander space.
      Here, it’s a developers wild west, as long as it makes money. However, cracks are appearing, Jane.

      Liked by 1 person

      • janesmudgeegarden Says:

        Wouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of sitting in front of TV in the evening, everyone went out to promenade as they do in Italy? We have the weather for it most of the year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        While still living in Holland my parents used to walk around the block each Sunday. Many of our neighbours did the same. They would meet each other and talk.
        After arrival they found out people used to go to bed early on a Sunday to get ready for work next day.

        Like

  4. Dora Jahnes Says:

    I watched the vitamin documentary we need to eat so little everyday to achieve the required vitamins needed to stay healthy. The public are being duped once again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, open slather on the public by the so-called medical supplement rip-offs and the government doesn’t do anything. It is one of the disadvantages of capitalism going unchecked and rampant.
      Look at the cracks in that apartment building in Sydney and no-one gets the blame. The poor occupants advised to get help from the Salvos. What a nightmare.
      Freedom they call it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        We know people who lived in that building. But they are lucky as they found accommodation with the mother of the couple.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        They are lucky. Amazing that the warranty on new buildings runs out after 6 years. I bet many unit owners are looking at cracks in the cement and tremble at the thought of having to pick up their belongings and sit on a suitcase outside on the street.
        Surely the builders and those compliance inspectors ought to get charged with shonky building practices.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. freefall852 Says:

    On health practitioners and other medicines… https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/09/16/on-health-practitioners-and-other-medicines/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. berlioz1935 Says:

    Walking is the new health activity. Humans are walking animals since they came down from the trees and conquered the grasslands. Dona Jahnes is right when she says we don’t eat enough to get all our vitamins. And what we eat is devoid of the real nourishment. The fruit is practical dead when we consume it.

    I take a few supplements and except for Vitamin C, they have all been prescribed by doctors !!! Doctors are by nature against supplements, so that was surprising.

    I’m walking again 10 to 12 km a week up from NI last year. We need the Oxygene that comes from the increased breathing during exercise.

    The high number of chemists stores is a sign of an aging population. Selling supplements might be the icing on the cake for them. Anyway, supplements are overpriced at the chemist and I buy them there only when it is convenient.

    .

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      When I had my heart tested six months ago the results came back grim. The cardiologist prescribed 4 different medications. I have reduced them to just 2 after I watched how in Australia we follow the US in overprescribing medications…but I did buy 35 shares in CSL (Commonwealth Serum Laboratories) for $196.60 each some 4 weeks ago. They are now sitting at $211.45…(oops they just jumped to 215.60) which is proof that the only way to get health back is to join and part-own the medical industry.
      We did buy a simple cycling exercise stepping device from the chemist.
      You are right, Peter trying to walk each day is the best one can do. We are determined rain or shine to walk each day till…no more possible, and then we shall see.

      Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        This is a good return on your investment. My cardiologist told me to take Aspirin, some anti-Cholesterol and a Beta-blocker. I stopped them all. Good health is something we all looking for but with increasing age it is a losing battle as the body losing its ability to reproduce healthy cells.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The cardiologists’ prescriptions gave me terrible intestinal hurry, whereby I could not venture more than 5 metres from any toilet which played havoc with my social life if not my male image ( not a Don Juan at the best of times). I made sure the café table would always be within reach of a toilet which in turn took a lot of fun away from dining out . Eating out became too tense, fraught with good timing to make it to the loo in time.
        I admire your 10KM walk a week, Peter.
        We try and walk from our home and around Bradman cricket oval each day. So far, so good.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Yes, life has certainly changed. I worry about the next generation…not only being over vitamin-ed and over-medicated, but, also, self-medicating in ways that are not healthy. 😦
    I love that having Cooper in my life, keeps me moving and walking! 🙂
    I’ve seen interesting new communities here…for example, I’ve been to one in Colorado, USA where they have everything people need in a fairly small “city” within a VERY large city…housing, work, shopping, entertainment, medical, food, etc., all laid out in a way so people can walk to wherever they need to go. I like the feel of that physically and it makes for great community among the people who lived there. People get to know and help others.
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Carolyn. The best exercise equipment is having a Cooper or a Milo. He puts on a real performance when he wants to take us for a walk. He shivers and tries to control us using emotional blackmail. Unashamedly he is.
      Yes, here and there good planning is achieved with medium density and still plenty of greenery and parks, yet shops and amenities are within walking distance. I think another blight on our lack of more communal planning is fencing separating us from neighbours. Why have fences? Why not just have a hedge or some greenery? Do people think a house will disappear if without a fence?

      Hugs from Gerard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        When we had our first house build we did not want any fences. But we were told that the regulations require fencing all round. We would not be allowed to build without fences.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        I wasn’t aware of that regulation, Berlioz.
        Our fences are still in good order but some want them replaced with colour-bond. At least with the paling fence one sometimes could detect a bit of movement and life through the gaps. With colour-bond that last bit of joy will vanish.

        Like

  8. freefall852 Says:

    I would walk more except for this terrible condition I have of “Lateral Spine”….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. shoreacres Says:

    History, and perhaps more importantly, geography, help to account for some differences between those lovely, walkable European cities and much of what we have here. I’ve lived in places where it was possible to walk to the grocery, the cafés. the bakery, and so on, but they were densely populated urban areas that also had a shortage of housing and other disadvantages.

    On the other hand, the suburbs are changing here. Population centers away from Houston that used to be simple “bedroom communities” are developing into the equivalent of discrete small towns, with even museums, performance venues, gardens, and pedestrian malls being intentionally included. In a way, it’s making the best of a changing situation. The inner city may be empty at night apart from the big theatres, the museums, and the bars, but there are congenial places to gather out on the fringes.

    As for health and etc., there has been news here of yet another study — the number of steps now considered to be adquate for healthy hearts and such has been reduced from 10,000 daily to 5,000. Who knows? But just for fun, I clipped on my pedometer yesterday and found I walked 4,000 or so just in the course of the work day. I’m almost there!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    While it is true that in certain areas there are efforts to plan housing around societal needs above that of profit, in Australia there is still a kind of uncontrolled non-stop of land being sub-divided further and further away from infrastructures. There is this sense of unlimited space.

    Our introduction to Australia after my parents arrival was on a suburban block of land. While it was close to a railway station and shops, the general feeling of the streets (avenues) was of isolation and dreariness. It was hard to point exactly what this dreariness constituted. The gardens were well kept, the houses as neat as a pin, but one rarely saw people about, except on bonfire night (Guy Fawkes).

    The daily baker and milkman, postman, were about as crowded as it would get.

    We just came back from ourmorning walk around the local cricket pitch and it measured at 1250 steps or a bit over 1KM.
    We also climb our internal stairs many times during the day to access our computers.

    Like

  11. rangewriter Says:

    Exactly the same problems here in the US. It now costs a fortune to live close to downtown. People buy homes farther and farther from town center and work (because that’s all they can afford), drive more and more, thus spending untold amounts on gas and wear & tear on multiple cars (our public transit isn’t) and then have no time to walk. Or, if they decide to walk or cycle, they drive to where that is to occur. I always smirk at the cars with bike racks attached. But if you live 10 urban miles from nice foothill trails that you want to recreate in, I guess that’s what you need. I bought a home close to town, it’s a bit of a rattletrap because that is all I could afford in this area. But I walk or cycle as much as possible to town and to grocery stores, even to the gym. That said, I still don’t get enough walking in, because I’m here in front of this silly computer, instead of out walking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We lived most our lives close to Sydney. It was during the fifties that everyone vied to live on a quarter acreage. I had a few years of that kind of ‘dream’ living at home with my parents. I vowed never to go back to that nightmare of isolation and absurd obsession with privacy and endless driving.
      The fashion now is for many to live in apartments close to cities and town-hubs. We can now walk to shops, cafes and cinemas but are still not inside the shopping precinct.
      Commercial and residential zoning seems to be kept separate by councils. I don’t know why that is.

      Like

  12. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    How are you doing, Gerard?
    How is Helvi?
    How is Milo?
    (((HUGS))) for all of you! 🙂

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Helvi had a fall while walking Milo, Carolyn, and broke both arms. It happened on Wednesday while I was bowling. She doesn’t blame Milo. It was the raised edge of a concrete driveway across the grassy pavement which made her stumble.

      Both arms are in plaster and Helvi is in hospital. The physiotherapist will put together a home-care plan. It is going to be hard and Helvi is the last person to be put into forceful inaction, and will need good care into almost everything for which two hands are necessary.
      I will have to brush up on my Florence Nightingale skills.

      My poor darling Helvi! She did not deserve this.

      Hugs, Gerard

      Like

      • berlioz1935 Says:

        Oh no! This is a tough call. At our age, a fall is a disaster. Both arms immobilized is tough. Give Helvi our love and we hope you have the energy to cope. Hugh’s to the both of you.

        Like

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        OH, NO! 😦 😦 😦 I’m so very sorry to hear this, Gerard! I will keep her (and you) in my thoughts for care, healing, and recovery. I wish I lived close, I’d come by and see what I could do to help.
        Please give Helvi some gentle (((HUGS))) for me.
        (((HUGS)))

        Liked by 1 person

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