The world has more stress than ever with the development of COVID-19. Now more than ever self-care is important to help handle the added stress, but with activities, events, and even businesses closing their doors how can you?
Take this time to explore nature! Try walking in your community to relax, be active, and reconnect with nature.
*Disclaimer* Time in nature has not been cancelled, but we must be responsible to help everyone stay safe and healthy! Here are some guidelines to follow while exploring your community:
- Stay home if you have been traveling or do not feel well. Here is a great resource if you are quarantined. This will help you find people in Manitoba who are willing and able to help you while quarantined. Help Next Door Manitoba
- Go out with your family, but practice social distancing with other groups.
- Stay within your community. Please do not travel to other communities.
- Stay off play structures in parks and schools.
- Social Distancing can be easier in rural communities because we live farther apart from each other. If you live in a condo or apartment, please follow the guidelines provided to you to ensure you keep your social distance from you neighbors.
5 Places to Walk in Your Community
Your Local Trails
Your local trail is a great way to get some exercise and get back into nature! With birds migrating, flowers blooming, leaves returning, this is the perfect time of year to visit your local trails.
*Trails are still open, but remember to practice social distancing and follow the guidelines by the government and local health authorities*
Whether you live in an urban or rural area, you’ll be surprise at the sights you see just in your own neighborhood! Rediscover the landscape around you and that you see everyday. You’ll be amazed at what you have never noticed before.
Country roads, take me home! This one sounds weird, but drive out into the country and discover a whole new world! While you are out on your walk, you’ll see animals, beautiful landscape of trees, fields, and lakes, and so much more!
If you have a local river or lake go and take a walk along the shore! Between the breeze and the calming sound of rushing water, how can you not be relaxed?
*Access to some parks have been restricted. Before venturing out check your local municipal website for information regarding your local parks*
I don’t know about you, but there is something very soothing and calming about parks. Many parks have walking paths and now is the perfect time to explore!
5 Things to do While Walking
Listen to Music
Grab your iPod, your phone, Walkman, or whatever device you use for music! Turn up the volume and get lost in nature and your favorite songs
Listen to Audio Books & Podcasts
Tune in to your favorite podcast or finally finish that last chapter of your audio book while getting some great exercise and relaxing in nature.
Bring Your Camera
There’s always something exciting to see in the Eastman, especially in nature! While out on your walk bring your camera (or use your phone) to snap a few pictures of your adventure!
Walk Your Pet
Pets love the outdoors! Bring your furry friend (even your cat) out on your walk. They will find something interesting to them and you can watch with amusement as they explore.
Foraging for food is becoming a hot new hobby for people! Do your research and see what edibles you find right in your very own community.
Benefits of Walking
Prevent or Manage Various Health Conditions
Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise! You should be walking for at least 30 minutes a day to feel the full benefits of walking.
Walking everyday can prevent or manage lots of health conditions like:
- Increase cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness,
- Reduce risk of heart disease and strokes
- Help manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes
- Help ease joint and muscular pain and stiffness
- Strengthen your bones and muscles
- Improve balance and coordination
It can also help maintain a healthy weight and help reduce body weight. It can even help improve your mood! So next time someone seems a little cranky, maybe suggest going out for a walk.
5 Tips for Walking
Get your body ready for your walk! Consider stretching before and after your workout. Also, before and after your walk, walk slowly for five to ten minutes to give your body time to prepare for your workout and give your muscles time to cool-down afterwards.
This may surprise you, but to get the most out of your walk, consider working on your walking technique.
- Keep your head up and look forward. Avoid looking down at the ground
- Stay relaxed. Try not to stiffen your neck, shoulders, and back.
- While your back should not be stiff, it should be straight. Make sure it is not arched forward or backward.
- Make sure that your stomach muscles are slightly tightened
- Slightly bend your arms at the elbow and swing your arms gently.
- Set a pace that is comfortable for you and walk smoothly. Roll your foot from heel to toe.
Make Walking Part of Your Routine
The hardest part about walking is doing it everyday. Try making it part of your daily routine and at the same time everyday. Make sure you are picking a convenient time for yourself.
Take your time so it doesn’t start to feel like a chore. You don’t have to power-walk, just go your own speed.
If you find it too difficult to set aside a solid 30 minutes into your schedule, try breaking it down! Instead, do three 10 minutes sets in your day.
Wear Proper Shoes & Clothes
This one seems obvious, but still worth mentioning – wear proper shoes and clothing! Wear thick socks that are comfortable and lightweight shoes with support.
Dress for the weather! In the winter, wear warm clothing and in summer something comfortable that will keep you cool. Also, put on sunscreen and wear a hat!
You need to drink water before and after your walk. Make sure to bring some with you, even in the winter. While on your walk, take small sips at a time to avoid filling your stomach with water.