Opinion

OUR VIEW: A path to better health

One small step for men and women at Rest Haven Lodge could turn into larger steps for people everywhere — and at any age.

The Sidney senior care facility hosted the first Walk With Your Doc event in the community this week. It has been happening across B.C. for the last five years and at its heart is an attempt to get people of all ages to get up and get moving.

A B.C. Medical Association initiative, Walk With Your Doc is an education program first. Local doctors at the Sidney walk, like Drs. Amanda Coleman, Terri Trottershaw and Ambrose Marsh, encourage their patients to be as active as they can, no matter their age. As long as they can safely move, walking or other forms of activity can keep a body healthy — more so than leading a sedentary lifestyle.

The Walk in Sidney was only a short stroll — from Rest Haven Lodge to the Sidney Rose Garden next to the library — but it was one of many activities that one can do throughout a typical day to add steps to the routine.

The BCMA, through Walk With Your Doc, encourages people to take 10,000 steps each day.

An active adult, they point out, takes 10,000 steps from morning until night and if reaching that goal sounds tough, they have suggestions. Choosing stairs over elevators, parking further away from a store, take the dog for a walk or go for a walk after an evening meal. They all add up.

It’s a series of small steps leading to big lifestyle change.

There are many benefits to one’s health by simply getting out and walking, and it’s not just physical health. Sleep quality improves, stress is reduced, blood pressure lowered and there are more chances to socialize and feel connected to others. These are the benefits of increased activity.

Once a body sets out on that path, and sticks with it, their health improves and can stay very good until well into the senior years. Better to spend those days getting up and active, rather than confined to a bed or chair.

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