Activity 19/150

Walking

Walking and / or pole walking is a form of hiking in an urban or rural area with or without the support of poles.

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History
Since humans evolved, we were born to move. Duh! But we only got smart about it by introducing poles in the late 1970’s when a Finnish man wanted to improve his off-season cross-country skiing by doing some cross-country hiking. The poles provide support on rocky terrain and thanks to this man, walking with poles is also known as Nordic walking.

Where
Urban centres are a great place for walking around to see what a city has to offer. Pole walking is typically done on paved surfaces in urban environments but can also be great on trails that may have some variable terrain where the stability afforded by poles comes in handy.

How to play
Grab a map, plot a route and get out there! Walking is also a great form of active transportation. Before taking the car on short trips or errands, consider walking your dog instead. And, if you need a little bit of extra support, grab a set of poles and go pole walking.

Suggested equipment

- Sturdy walking shoes

- Comfortable clothing
- Poles (optional)

Adaptations
Physical activity in Canada includes everyone, regardless of any ability or circumstance. Some sports and activities may, however, require a few adaptations to make them as accessible as possible. Below you’ll find recommendations and suggestions on how to accommodate individuals that may have limitations or different needs. With a positive attitude and a little ingenuity, any activity can be made enjoyable for all.

Sensory

Factors that will assist individuals with a visual impairment to enjoy waking are to have a guide, ensure good lighting, have a tactile surface and colour contrast on the floor or pavement. Any obstacles should be removed or avoided.

Learning/Cognitive Disabilities

Make walking simple. Consider using a walking buddy. Adjust the distance or time requirements as needed.

Mobility Limitation

Wheeling is walking for those who use a wheelchair. For individuals who require balance, consider using walking sticks or use a facility that offers a flat surface such as a track. Shortening the distance where needed and encourage taking breaks in activity.

Benefits of Walking

The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life. And, for the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life.

See Benefits and Guidelines

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Michelle Murray
Communications Coordinator