Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 38, Tuesday February 24, 2004






Sights and sounds

There are only a few places left in Bangladesh where one may experience natural beauty as at Kuakata. This 'beach town' located in the southern part of the country, houses beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views. With a small population mostly comprising of fishermen, Kuakata is a quiet town where one can forget about all the stress of the modern working life and just relax.

One thing that different about Kuakata is that it is not normally crammed with people even during the peak season. The place is fairly unknown to the tourist industry and hence has not developed as far as Cox's Bazaar, which may be refreshing to those seeking serenity. However, getting there is a bit tricky. The roads to Kuakata are not good at all compared to other routes and the best way to travel there would be to take the launch to Patuakhali and then the bus from there. However, this bus ride is quite strenuous, but it is said that the roads shall improve in the not so distant future.

Safety is one thing that really stands out at this beach resort. Although there aren't armed guards at every corner of the small town, safety hasn't been an issue in the past. The people are pretty friendly and there are shops and stores where one can get almost anything. Hotels have been mushrooming in the area in the last few years and it can be predicted that this destination shall definitely gain popularity in the future. There is a Parjatan Motel at Kuakata and this is preferred to most of the places, although the standard of the other hotels is improving.

The beach is famous to travelers mainly because the sunset and sunrise can be seen from the same spot and this is something rare. The beach is long and wide and has a typical natural setting. Being engulfed by beautiful trees on one side and the unlimited sea on the other, this is a place that is as beautiful as it is romantic. Taking walks down the beach and staring at the small fishing boats in the horizon are just a few of the activities this place offers. Lazing off at the beach on one of those rented beach chairs can be nice, mainly because only the sound of the ocean can be heard. There aren't many vendors and people to disturb tourists, and this sets a beautiful atmosphere unlike other overpopulated beaches.

Kuakata is also a sanctuary for thousands of migratory birds during winter and although its spring, some of these birds can be seen. Less than an hours ride on rickshaw-van from Kuakata shall take you to an amazing Buddhist monument, which is over 3 storey's high. This is a sight to enjoy for both history lovers and the general crowd.

Kuakata is a destination for the traveler who wishes to spend his/her vacation in solitude surrounded by natural beauty. With no cell-phone coverage in the area, and only one phone booth, the place promises to a perfect get-away. It can be a great place to visit both for family holiday goers as well as for groups of friends, and taking a loved one promises to be an experience to treasure.

By Mishel Ali Khan

Walking the life

Whatever the reason is whether to loose weight improve general health, to recover from a period of ill health or just to stay fit, walking simply helps. Sensible walking habit can lead to a startling improvement in physical and mental health well being. Being an ideal form of exercise, walking can easily fit into anyone's lifestyle, as it costs nothing, available to almost everyone and can easily be incorporated as a part of daily routine.

Walking profits the body in a wide range of ways but one of the most significant benefits of it is that it keeps our heart healthy. Studies have found out that walking at a moderate pace (3 mph) for up to 3 hours a week or 30 minutes a day can cut the risk of heart disease by as much as 40%. Having a descent impact on the cardiovascular diseases, walking keeps individuals fit and active and exposes half the risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to the unfit people. Being an aerobic exercise walking gets the heart to beat faster to transport blood from lungs to the muscles and as the heart and lungs grow more efficient with regular walking this practice reduces blood pressure and brings a hearty tempo to our vascular organ.

Along with hymning the accurate rhythm to our heart, walking also keeps the body thoroughly composed. It controls body weight by reducing fat, reduce high cholesterol, the risk of cancer of the colon and the risk of non insulin dependent diabetes, improve blood lipid profile and circulation, bolsters the immune system and helps to prevent and control diabetes. Walking also eases aches and pains in the muscles and joints as it increases bone density and help to prevent osteoporosis. People who walk as a form of exercise on a regular basis tend to be fit and youthful than the people who are rather inactive. A vigorous walking program can help participants strengthen and tone all the major muscle groups, including shoulders, arms, stomach, back, legs and buttocks. And of course the striking power of walking when it comes to loose weight and extra fat. It is frequently being advised to the people who are seniors as well as just recovered from a period of ill health as regular participation in physical activity such as walking reduces mortality rate both for young and old.

While the habit of walking blesses our health in many ways, it also soothes our mind and soul as well. Walking can help to boost one's brainpower and prevent mental decay and memory loss. Studies have found out that walking increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which helps it become more smart and efficient. Psychological benefits associated with walking ranges from stimulating the brain to giving a general sense of well being while relieving depression, anxiety and physiological, cardiovascular and catecholamine related stress by producing endorphins in the brain which gives the mind a calming, energetic and soothing effect.

Keeping the health in mind, it is always best to incorporate the practice of walking as a part of the daily life. Thirty minutes a day five days a week can improve one's health and mind in great deal. During walking good posture is important and it is advised to keep the back straight and imagine a line running from the ear through the shoulder, right down to the hip and ankle. It is also advised to rock the feet from heel to toe and keep the shoulders and arms relaxed and breath rhythmically. Thus with the blessings of walking we can reward ourselves a strong and healthy life by truly enjoying this simplest act of life.

By Obaidur Rahman





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