Take steps to improve your health…at every age and stage

By Madeline Camiré-Cameron

Ready to get fit? Try Nordic walking! This full-body workout is free (once you have poles), fun, and versatile, and is the perfect activity for people at every age and stage.

Families – The single best thing Canadians can do for their health is to walk more – and let’s face it… what could be simpler? Let your kids take the lead on family walks; stride your way to a nearby restaurant for dinner; or head to the park or ravine for an off-street adventure. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

Teenagers – As a health-conscious teen with many like-minded friends, I look for ways to stay active and have fun. It’s proven that active youth are happier, healthier, have higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of anxiety, and do better in school.  I’ve taken up running seriously over the past several years, but I’ve also found that going for walks, alone or with friends, is a great way to de-stress, reflect on life, and socialize, while getting a workout in. According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, those between the ages of 12 to 17 should participate in at least an hour of heart-pumping activity every day. Unfortunately, only 7% of Canadian children and teens actually achieve this. By incorporating walking into my day, whether it’s walking to school, walking my dog, going for a brisk evening walk with a friend, or exploring downtown Toronto on foot, walking more has enhanced my mental and physical health.

Couples – Tired of going for dinner and a movie? Looking for a simple date idea on a budget? Take a walk! Better yet, add some Urban Poles and enjoy a full body workout as you bond over this fun, heart-pumping, and calorie-torching activity.

Seniors – The best way to look and feel young is to exercise regularly. According to Lifestyle Coach, Andrew Barr (DeerFields Clinic in Toronto) regular exercise can help slow the aging process by delaying the rate at which cells in our bodies die. Exercise can also improve balance, keep our hearts healthy, reduce our blood pressure, and enhance our happiness. Going for a morning walk can help you start your day off with a positive attitude and help you stay in shape. Urban Poling’s Activator™ poles reduce the impact of walking on hip and knee joints and can improve strength and posture.

Working adults – Sixteen million Canadians spend half of their waking hours at work, the majority in sedentary jobs. Only 15% of today’s adults meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guideline’s, which recommend at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity every week. Try incorporating walking into your workday by parking a few blocks from your office and walking the rest of the way — or go for a walk with colleagues on a coffee break or at lunch.  Be sure to check out Urban Poling’s new Walk@Work program to get the whole team moving.

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