These days we tend to have very sedentary lifestyles. We drive or take public transit to work. While at work, we sit in front of computers for most of the day. Then, we head home to sit in front of our television or computers. And, if we go out we choose to go somewhere to sit – at the coffee shop, at a restaurant, or at the movie theater.
Our sedentary lifestyle can have a negative impact on our health, and thus our quality of life. One way to mitigate some of these health risks is to integrate more exercise into our daily routine. Walking is one of the easiest and least disruptive ways to introduce exercise into our life. Walking is free and easy to do. Also, it is something that you can do on your own or with a group.
WALKING WITH A GROUP:
A walking group is a great way to go, if you want to meet new people, find new places to walk, and to gain motivation to stay on track. If you live in the Toronto area, and would like to join a walking group, here are six ideas from the City of Toronto website:
- Toronto Field Naturalists
- Offers free guided nature walks twice a month to the general public. For more information, visit Toronto Field Naturalists.
- Drop-in fitness walking
- Offered at various recreation community centres by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. See list of programs.
- Historic walking tours
- Free tours in Toronto neighbourhoods offered by professionals and local community groups from April-October.Visit Heritage Toronto for information on walking tours.
- Professional tour operators
- Guided tours with a personal touch, including intimate stories of Toronto’s hidden treasures (some tours are free).Visit Professional Tour Operators for more information.
- Toronto Bruce Trail Club
- Over 500 free guided walks and hikes each year in urban and Bruce Trail locations. Visit Bruce Trail Club for more information.
If you choose to walk on your own, this is okay too. If you live in the Toronto area, and would like to walk on your own, here are three ideas from the City of Toronto website :
- Explore new areas of the city.
- Toronto Parks and Trails Maps
Use these maps to guide your walks and help you discover the City of Toronto.
- Toronto Region and Conservation
Offers free interpretative and informative walks about nature, communities, rivers, biodiversity, and projects underway to improve the environment.
- Discovery Walks
Discovery Walks is a self guided program that helps you explore the city ravines, parks, gardens, beaches and neighbourhoods. There are signs throughout the walk that will help you experience the area and its rich history.
- Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation programs and activities
- Toronto Bike maps
- Explore the underground walkway: PATH Map
PATH is downtown Toronto’s underground walkway linking 28 kilometres of shopping, services and entertainment. Its underground location provides pedestrians with a safe haven from the winter cold and snow, and the summer heat.
- Explore mall walking in Toronto
Some malls in Toronto offer organized walking programs. If an organized walking program is not offered, the mall may open early for you to walk. Call your local mall to find out what they offer.