Every year thousands of Albertans celebrate winter and walking by participating in Winter Walk Day on February 1, 2017.
Walking is great for our health, the environment, reducing traffic and building community! On Winter Walk Day record and report the total minutes you or your group walked.
Everyone is welcome to join in including schools, seniors’ centres, commuters, individuals and families. Dress warmly, get outside, and enjoy the fresh, crisp Alberta air! Be sure to come back to the City’s website and register your minutes for a chance to win some great prizes. If we spot you out walking on “Winter Walk Day”, you could be the lucky recipient of a surprise!
Tips to keep warm and dry:
- Listen for the windchill index with the weather forecast. The index likens the way your skin feels to the temperature on a calm day. For example, if the outside temperature is -10°C and the wind chill is -20, it means that your face will feel as cold as it would on a calm day when the temperature is -20°C
- Dress in breathable layers to keep warm and avoid overheating
- Wear a hat. Most of your body heat is lost through your head.
- Wear warm, waterproof boots, roomy enough to allow wiggle room for your toes.
Many Albertans are not active enough to receive health benefits. This is of serious concern since inactivity is associated with a number of health issues including obesity, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
Walking is a simple way to improve overall wellbeing and reduce the chances of developing the health concerns associated with inactivity.
- Walking is free and can be done almost anywhere
- Walking is a form of exercise which is within the physical capabilities of many people
- Walking may be a more realistic challenge than other more vigorous forms of exercise
- Walking can be integrated into people's lifestyles relatively easily
- The level of impact is low and strain on the feet and joints is minimized thus making the risk of injury very low
Top Ten Benefits of Walking
- It strengthens your heart
Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check.
- It lowers disease risk
As well as heart disease, a walking habit can slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers.
- It keeps weight in check
A person weighing 60 kg burns 75 calories simply by strolling at 2 mph for 30 minutes. Increase that to 3 mph and they’ll burn 99 calories. Speed it up to a fast walk (4 mph) and that’s 150 calories – the equivalent of three Jaffa Cakes or a jam doughnut.
- It can help prevent dementia
Dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80. We know being active has a protective effect on brain function and regular exercise reduces dementia risk by up to 40 per cent.
- ...and osteoporosis, too
Walking counts as a weight-bearing activity. It stimulates and strengthens bones, increasing their density.
- It tones your legs, bum – and tum
A good walk can help strengthen and shape your legs, giving great definition to calves, quads, hamstrings and lifting your glutes (buttock muscles) – especially if you add hills. But if you really pay attention to your posture as you walk, it can tone your abs and whittle your waist, too.
- Let’s not forget your arms
Hold them at a comfortable level, bent at the elbow, and swing them backwards and forwards as you walk. Swing them faster and you’ll automatically speed up. And all this movement tones your arms, shoulders and upper back.
- It boosts your vitamin D levels
If you’re walking outside in daylight, you’ll be boosting your body’s stores of vitamin D – a nutrient that’s hard to get from food, but that we can synthesise from exposure to sunlight.
- It gives you energy
It might seem like a paradox (and the last thing you might feel like) but a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to each and every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive.
- It makes you happy
The ability of exercise to boost mood is undisputed. Studies have shown regular, moderate-intensity exercise (such as brisk walking) to be as effective as antidepressants in cases of mild to moderate depression.