Why you should walk to work every day – not just today

Did you know that 91 per cent of people get to work every day by either driving or using public transportation? It’s not always possible to walk to work, but studies have shown that making an effort to at least go for a walk during your break can reduce cholesterol, help prevent diabetes and improve your mood. The benefits don’t stop here:

  • Regular walks can help prevent obesity. An hour a day of brisk walking can reduce the genetic influence of becoming obese by half! For an average person, half an hour of walking burns between 100-150 calories; that’s about two-thirds of a small bag of chips! All of a sudden, you don’t have to worry as much about snacking because you’re earning calories towards your favourite treat.
  • Walking can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. You will see an increase in HDL cholesterol, linked to heart health, and a decrease in LDL, which is linked to heart damage. A study of middle-aged men showed that walking enough to burn 300 calories a day was enough to show major improvements in LDL to HDL ratios.
  • You will see a reduction in body fat. Studies show that people who walk at least 10,000 steps a day will maintain an average body mass index. People with less than 10,000 steps per day see an increase in obesity rates. With that said, if you are looking for an increase in muscle mass, agility or balance, you will need to do more than 10,000 steps. On average, people who walk 7,500-10,000 steps per day are more prone to be overweight, but not obese. Even baby steps can get you on the right track!
  • Believe it or not, the extra exercise will result in less fatigue. If you manage to work in a healthy number of steps each day, you will see a 20 per cent boost in energy and a 6 per cent reduction in fatigue daily. The benefits are even larger if you are recovering from an illness.
  • The boost in energy will also result in a better mood. Just half an hour of walking a day has been associated with helping people who suffer from depression improve their endorphin levels.

All of these benefits working together can drastically increase your quality of life. We know it’s not always possible to walk to work, especially in a sprawling city like Calgary; however, Calgary has nearly 1000 kilometres of pathways and trails inside the city limits. They are well maintained with nice views of the river, cityscape or parks like Nose Hill and South Fish Creek. Taking advantage of these pathways will allow you a better standard of living while also giving you a chance to see all that the city has to offer. Check out this online map of the pathways and bikeways throughout the city to see which are easily accessible for you.