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Fitville: Start Walking

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Walking

Almost all of us have to walk a kilometre or two every day. Maybe it’s just to get to your car to drive to work, or maybe you like to go for leisurely evening strolls. Whatever your level of activity, walking is a great way to keep in shape and feel better, both physically and mentally. 

Let me start off by introducing myself. I’m Chantel Gadient, the Recreation Director for the Town of Niverville’s Community Services Department. I started the position in October 2014, having recently graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Recreation Management and Community Development. I am also a new resident of Niverville since February 2015.

I have to say, this is my first desk job, and it has been a huge change for me. I have always been in positions that required a lot of walking with minimal sitting, and now it’s the complete opposite. Over this past winter, I’ve noticed I’ve been feeling tired a lot, exhausted by 7:00 p.m.—and I don’t even have children yet! So I decided I needed to start simple, and start walking. 

Almost every evening during the week, I go for a stroll through town with my fiancé and my dog Bella. We walk the lakeside trails in Fifth Avenue Estates, gazing at the newly built houses and admiring those walkout basements. We then head to Hespeler Park… ahh, Hespeler Park! So beautiful and so big, what a view of the prairie! Our “let’s go for a quick walk” turns into an hour walk, exploring the town, greeting other walkers and joggers, and it’s Bella’s favourite activity!

I started to get curious with how many steps I was taking each day, so I started tracking my steps through an app on my iPhone called Moves. Now, it wasn’t the greatest app, but it did the trick. In June, my friend won a Fitbit at a social she attended, and to my surprise she let me borrow it! This Fitbit has made my step count more accurate, and now I’m more aware of how many steps, kilometres, and active minutes I’m actually making in a day. 

At first I averaged around 5,000 steps, but I wanted to increase it to 10,000. So I made a vow to Bella that when I come home for lunch we would go for a fifteen-minute walk, adding between 1,000–1,500 steps. Then I take another ten to fifteen minute walk when I get home from work to get the mail. This brought my step counts up to 8,500—still not what I wanted it to be. 

Now I’ve been finding myself going for walks at 10:00 at night, for two reasons: I need 2,000 more steps to reach my daily goal, and I actually have energy to go for another walk! 

I encourage you all to start walking, use the trails and pathways, walk to the different parks, and walk to the mailbox. A ten-minute walk is better than no walk at all! What are you waiting for? Start walking.

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