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Home   News   Walk your way to better health

Walk your way to better health

Aug 31, 2015
written by: Catherine Cameron
written by: Catherine Cameron
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As a former trainer and having led fitness classes for over 25 years, it’s not really surprising that people often ask me how I stay fit and for advice to help them do the same. What is surprising is the look on so many faces when I share that in addition to running, cycling and strength training, I’m a regular walker. I wasn’t always, but since getting a dog five years ago, I’ve become an avid walker, choosing it as my method of transportation of choice as often as possible.

When I speak publicly, I often cite walking as the single best thing most Canadians can do to improve their health. It helps prevent and manage disease, it makes us happier, it helps us connect with nature, it’s free, and it can be done just about anywhere… even in the water. It’s amazing how many skeptics look at me with raised eyebrows, certain that it takes an expensive gym membership, hours of high intensity classes, and even certain pieces of equipment to be healthy and fit.

This simply isn’t so. Not that long ago, gyms didn’t exist. People got their exercise working, getting from one place to another, going about the tasks of daily living (they didn’t commonly hire gardening or snow removal services), and socializing with others. To a large extent, it’s our desk jobs, long commutes, and computers and hand-held devices that have led to our sedentary lifestyles and often to believe we are simply too busy for exercise.

Walk your way to a healthier you:

  • Brisk walking can lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. In fact, many new cases of Type 2 diabetes in Canada could be prevented if Canadians walked more.
  • Walking can reduce pain in those with arthritis, stiff joints, and back pain.
  • Walking can help Canadians manage their weight, and in some cases may contribute to weight loss.
    Adding intensity to walking can be done by adding hills or short speed walking intervals for 15-45 seconds every few minutes.
  • Walking also offers mental health benefits. Some studies suggest regular walking may be as or more effective than many medications in treating mild to moderate anxiety and depression.
  • For more on the benefits of walking, click here. To start my 8 Week Walking program, click here.