Walk this Way!

Do you walk to work? To school? To shopping? If you live in Vancouver then you should because the city is built for it. I love to walk my kids home from school, especially when we get those sunny, fall days – you can smell blackberries and fall leaves in the air. I am hoping that by starting when they’re young, I can transfer my enjoyment to them.

The Walk 21 Conference being hosted in Downtown Vancouver this week is a celebration and reaffirmation to walkers and health promoters in the province. A reaffirmation that in some ways we’re doing it right and it also allows us to showcase our achievements, such as the Seawall, Yaletown and False Creek.

Bright lights, both local and international, have given the thumbs up to the City of Vancouver’s planning priorities and Mayor Gregor Robertson signed the Walk 21 Charter to kick off the conference. This political and academic support now needs more participation at the individual level.

We all, young, old and in-between, need to walk a minimum of 30 minutes per day to achieve health benefits. That may seem like a lot or a little depending on where you sit, but the evidence is 100% clear. Inactivity costs all of us. I was happy to see that the Vancouver Sun in both news and editorial have taken up the walking bug as well.

For those who need a little help getting out there themselves, or who want to get a walking program set up at their work. Check out BC Recreation and Parks Association Healthy Workplaces site at http://www.bcrpa.bc.ca/healthy-workplace-month. They have all the advice, tips and tricks you need to get a walking program up and running.

Get a start on your own healthier lifestyle and bring a colleague along. Set up walking meetings on a nice day or set up a regular group to walk on a lunch hour. If you add a walk trip to the bus stop and back then you’ll add to your own health and that of the city we live in.

The way we build our cities impacts our health. In Vancouver, we’re lucky that our planning went the way it did; but even if your town or city is not planned for walking, there is always an opportunity to get out and enjoy the sites at a ‘walking speed’. If you’re looking to find an existing walking group in your area, or want to start one, check out the provincial walking map from Walk BC.


Vancouver Sun: Opinion: Want to live longer? Build walking into your routine

Vancouver Sun: Walking conference likes what it sees in Vancouver



Sam Hartley-Folz
Manager, Programs and Policy
October 2011

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