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Let's Step It Up, Calgary!

posted Sep 17, 2015, 10:10 AM by Walk Strong Calgary
There's a call to action sweeping the 

continent - "Step It Up!" The US Surgeon

General is urging communities, 

corporations, families and individuals to join

the initiative to promote Walking and 

Walkable Communities, and momentum is

building. We fully anticipate this walking 

wave to spread into Canada - results of a Statistics Canada study released in 2011 revealed that only

15% of Canadians get the recommended minimum amount of physical activity each week. That 

number is staggering. We need to Step It Up!

Walking is the easiest, most cost-effective way to add movement to your day. Even though Calgary has great 'walkability' in its pathway system and abundance of sidewalks, safety can be an issue. According to Calgary Police Services, an average of 508 pedestrians were involved in traffic collisions each year from 2007-2011. The stats don't indicate how many involved jaywalking or texting while driving for example, but this is still an eye-opener. Whether walking, in a wheelchair, or biking, we're in such a rush-rush society now that we must be extra aware of our surroundings. As a walker myself, I have personally had too many close calls to count.

There are other aspects of safety on a personal level to consider. Some are simply not comfortable walking outdoors after dark, and with our dwindling daylight, this is the time of year people start to become less and less active. With winter on the horizon, we know how quickly Calgary's sidewalks and pathways can become treacherous. Witness 4 Fitness offers a safe alternative for communities as well as corporate settings that will help keep people active and improve our city's 'walkability.' We also provide better results than a traditional walk... and we can involve those with disabilities - you read that right. This is an accessible program, even to the visually impaired.

Our 'Walk Strong Calgary' program features Leslie Sansone's Walk "Live" classes - in-studio cardio workouts based on the popular Walk at Home DVDs. These classes take walking to a new level, toning every major muscle group in the body by incorporating other basic moves and adding strength training with light hand weights or resistance bands. We move to music that is paced to measure mileage, ranging anywhere from 3 to 5+ mph!  

You're likely wondering how we can incorporate folks whose mode of transport is by wheelchair. People in wheelchairs walk... just in a different way. Some have limited use of their legs while others may not have any mobility at all in these limbs, but if they can use their arms, they are fully capable of participating. In some ways, involving the arms is even better, because getting your arms going can really elevate heart rate. I have led these classes from a chair and believe me, it was a workout and a half! Part of it comes in how conscious you must be about proper alignment when seated - my core got a superb workout!

I encourage you to take the time to watch the video below - Juliette Rizzo, Miss Wheelchair USA 2005, gave one of the most inspirational presentations I've ever heard at the Surgeon General's live webcast on Sept 9, 2015 regarding the Step It Up initiative. Our corporate offices, community centers, church halls, and even shopping malls can be come accessible 'walk sites' for everyone!


Let's make Calgary a city with even more Walkability. Rollability. Possibility.

Contact me for information on how you can get Walk Live classes going in your community, organization, church or corporate offices. 'Walk Concerts' are great for charity events! Let's Step It Up!

Visit Walk Strong Calgary's Website or e-mail walkstrongcalagry@gmail.com

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Nancy Ehle is a Group Fitness Instructor certified through the American Council on Exercise as well as a Certified WALK Leader through Leslie Sansone's Walk Live. She also holds several specialties in the industry and is a Certified Health Coach. Her passion for health and wellness is infectious! Follow her on           Facebook:  Walk Strong Calgary

Sources:  Calgary Police Services Traffic Collisions;    Stats Canada - Accelerometer Results

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