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: