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Walk your way to better health

The weather is getting warmer, and the days are feeling longer thanks to more sunlight. After what may have felt like a long winter, there is no better time to enjoy the outdoors than now. There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors through activities that also improve your health and well-being. Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay active and has many positive benefits for our health including helping to improve heart health, helping with stroke recovery, reducing pain, and improving physical function. Whether it's already part of your regular routine and you’re looking for ways to change things up, or you need some convincing to get started, we have compiled some tips to help.

 

Switch up your walking routine with a new approach

If you are looking for ways to make walking more interesting, there are several things you can do. You might want to try something new, like Nordic walking, a type of walking using poles that look like those used in cross country skiing. It provides a full body workout and may even be less strenuous on the body overall. Another approach may involve tracking your performance over time using a wearable device such as a smartwatch, pedometer, step-counter or fitness tracker. Research studies have shown that mobile or wearable digital devices appear to motivate people to exercise more and may help to lose weight.

 

Still need some convincing to get started?

If you walk occasionally but struggle to make it a part of your regular routine, there are some compelling reasons that may help convince you. Did you know that how fast you walk can be an important indicator of your overall health?  Like your heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and rate of breathing, there is evidence that your walking speed may be an important new vital sign.

 

To read more about the benefits of walking and ways to diversify your walking routine, watch and read our resources below.


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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.

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