Let's get walking for healthy living.

For this blog, I’m mixing it up a little. I wanted to share an absolutely fabulous outdoors, physical activity experience that I had several weeks ago – when there was actually snow on the ground, lots of it. This experience took me way out of my comfort zone. I thought I would share my story and get you excited about walking as part of healthy living.  

Power or speed walking is one of my most favourite exercises.  I’ve always wanted to do this during the winter months, but like many people I know, there was a lot of reluctance. I even went as far as asking a friend if she would be open to winter walking, the response, ‘me?’  Essentially ‘me, are you crazy?’ I had to laugh, as it is a common response from friends who originate from countries with warmer climates.

I was chatting with someone who jogs during the winter on some beautiful trails in the Gatineau Park, she suggested that we do a walk together. I was racking my brain to come up with a really valid excuse why I could not go for an exercise walk with her in the forest on a beautiful sunny winter day (yes, winter, snow and all, hardly any people), but I could not find a single one, so agreed.  

I have not ever done any extensive walking during the winter, therefore was not sure what type of clothing to wear, so I layered. What about footwear? I simply put on some comfortable boots. In the end, this all worked out fine. On the day of our walk to start, we go up a steep hill. I’m thinking, what have I gotten myself into? Two hours later, after going up and down hills, ducking under branches, barely seeing a sole in sight, trampling in pristine snow, experiencing the calm and serenity, wondering if my cell phone was adequately charged, and I must admit, being rather excited, maybe even a tad relieved when I saw an exit I recognized and people in sight.  

I must admit, it was a really nice experience. I enjoyed it so much that I agreed to do a different, paved trail the following day, notwithstanding the snowy weather. There were more people, yet still tranquil. I’m looking forward to checking it out again. Especially when the trees are in foliage. We’re still waiting for that to happen.
 
Why am I sharing this story? Well, to encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and start doing things like walking and enjoying nature, despite the weather.   It’s so important for mental and physical health. Most cities have beautiful trails for walking, biking, rollerblading, and other activities, but let’s start with walking. It is one of the best exercises that almost anyone can add to their daily routine and can be done at practically any age, where possible. Bonus, it’s free, you don’t need expensive equipment and if done well, the benefits abound. From helping with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, preventing muscle loss, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, improving sleep, to making your brain sharper.  

It does not have to be a two-hour hike in the forest. Start with 20 minutes, but aim for at least thirty. The next week, go a bit further. The following week, go a bit faster.  The goal is to continuously challenge yourself, increase your heart rate and remember to slowly cool down.  You can also try interval walking. Research suggests a 3-minute warm-up, followed by 25 minutes of alternating walking as fast as you can for one minute, then one minute of brisk walking – aim for about six intervals on a scale of one to 10. Cool down for two minutes.

Wondering how you can get started? Throw a pair of walking shoes in your bag and walk home from work, if you are back in the office. If you live far from work, get off the bus earlier and walk the rest of the way home. Go for a walk at lunch or after dinner. Grab a friend, spouse or partner and make it a regular activity. If you’re like me, grab a knapsack, put on some good music walk to do your errands and take the long way back home, or simply walk for exercise, it’s a great de-stressor. You would be amazed how well walking works for the latter.

Try starting a walking club, it’s a great way to meet new people.  La Tropiqua will be starting a Walking Club this this spring. If you are interested in joining, email us, or send us a text at 613-695-2256.

If you’re just starting to add walking to your daily exercise routine, remember to speak with your doctor before doing so.

Also remember to dress appropriately and keep hydrated. Before your workout, focus on eating easily digested carbs like a fruit (e.g., banana, apple, etc.), Greek yogurt with a bit of granola or a piece of toast with nut butter – at least an hour before your workout. It all depends on what agrees with your body, as well as the length and intensity of your workout.

Combining activities such as walking and healthy eating can help you to achieve the most optimal health results.
 
Why am I sharing this story? Well, to encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and start doing things like walking and enjoying nature, notwithstanding the weather.   It’s so important for mental and physical health. Most cities have beautiful trails for walking, biking, rollerblading, and other activities. However, let’s start by walking.

Walking is one of the best exercises that almost anyone can add to their daily routine and it can be done at practically any age, where possible. Bonus, it’s free, you don’t need expensive equipment and if done well, the benefits abound. From helping with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, preventing muscle loss, lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, reducing your risk of chronic diseases, improving sleep, to making your brain sharper.  

It does not have to be a two-hour hike in the forest. Start with 20 minutes, but aim for at least thirty. The next week, go a bit further. The following week, go a bit faster.  The goal is to continuously challenge yourself, increase your heart rate and remember to slowly cool down.  You can also try interval walking. Research suggests a 3-minute warm-up, followed by 25 minutes of alternating walking as fast as you can for one minute, then one minute of brisk walking – aim for about six intervals on a scale of one to 10. Cool down for two minutes.

Wondering how you can get started? Throw a pair of walking shoes in your bag and walk home from work, for those of you back in the office. If you live far from work, get off the bus earlier and walk the rest of the way home. Go for a walk at lunch or after dinner. Grab a friend, spouse or partner and make it a regular activity. If you’re like me, grab a knapsack, put on some good music walk to do your errands and take the long way back home, or simply walk for exercise, it’s a great de-stressor. You would be amazed how well walking works for the latter. Try starting a walking club, it’s a great way to meet new people.  La Tropiqua will be starting a Walking Club this this spring. If you are interested in joining, email us, or send us a text at 613-695-2256.

If you’re just starting to add walking to your daily exercise routine, remember to speak with your doctor before doing so.

Also remember to dress appropriately and keep hydrated. Before your workout, focus on eating easily digested carbs like a fruit (e.g., banana, apple, etc.), Greek yogurt with a bit of granola or a piece of toast with nut butter – at least an hour before your workout. It all depends on what agrees with your body, as well as the length and intensity of your workout.

Combining activities such as walking and healthy eating can help you to achieve the most optimal health results.Enjoy your walk. Hope you can join us on the trails and walking paths!

Do you have questions on how you can eat healthier or about healthy living in general? Share them with us. Some will be answered here. Text or email us your questions.

Website: www.latropiqua.ca
Text: 613-695-2256
Email: info@latropiqua.ca

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