A better way to get around - Walking

Walking is such a simple activity and is so easy to incorporate into our daily routine that we sometimes forget how beneficial it is. It improves blood circulation, strengthens bones, tones muscles and helps to maintain a healthy body weight.

And there are so many excellent opportunities for you to put your best foot forward: picking your kids up from school, heading to the convenience store for a loaf of bread or going to cheer on your kids’ soccer team. All of these activities – and many, many more – can be done on foot!

You don’t need much to get started: just a comfortable pair of shoes, good posture and a little time!

How do you know if your posture is “good” or not? Easy! Relax your shoulder muscles. Look straight ahead instead of down at the ground. Hold your head high and your back straight. Keep your arms relaxed and close to your body. Place one heel on the ground and then, in a continuous movement, roll your foot toward your toes – and repeat! Eschew the baby steps in favour of nice, long strides. There’s nothing more to it. The world is yours for the taking!

Although walking itself is a straightforward activity, sharing the road with other users takes awareness and concentration, especially at intersections and crosswalks. So be smart and stay safe! 

Walking with kids

Lots of children walk to school, either from home or from their bus stop. Here are a few things to remember to get the most out of the experience:
  • Walking at a normal, leisurely pace, most children can cover about 4 kilometres in an hour. In urban areas, 67% of children live within a 1-kilometre radius of their school. So 15 minutes is all it takes for most kids to get to school on foot. Do you know how far your school is from your home?
  • Trim down the backpack! The weight of your child's schoolbag should not exceed 10% of their body weight. Can some items be left at school at night?
  • If your child walks to school alone or with friends, escort them at least once to determine the safest way there and back, and make sure they always follow the same path.
  • Teach your child never to cross the street anywhere but at intersections and designated crossings.
  • If your child is reluctant to walk, why not have them try a skateboard, rollerblades or a scooter?