Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, wisely proclaimed, “walking is a man’s best medicine.” At The Medical Station we agree on the important role walking can play in maintaining one’s physical, emotional, & mental health. With cold weather and shorter days officially upon us, The Medical Station wants to encourage North York and GTA residents to keep walking.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is a fantastic low impact and moderate form of exercise that is accessible to many. There are many health benefits
of walking, these include:
- Strengthening bones
- Improving balance & coordination
- Improving cardiac risk factors
- Positive effects on mental health, particularly stress
- Lowering blood pressure
- Weight loss and/or maintenance
Located in North York, our clinic understands that cold weather, snow & ice can make it difficult to maintain an outdoors exercise routine. That being said, The Medical Station encourages you to stay outside this winter and keep walking. If you are equipped for the weather, walking in the winter can have additional health benefits. Some of these include:
- Burning more calories as your body is working harder to stay warm
- Exposure to sunlight, which helps with Vitamin D production
- Invigorating cold air helps clear your mind & reduce stress
- Endorphins generated from exercise come in handy in combating the winter blues
- Using ski poles (which may be helpful in snowy and/or icy conditions) adds an upper body workout to your walk
It is however, important to take some extra precautions when walking in the winter. The Medical Station advises that you give yourself ten minutes to warm up your body before going outside, wear a scarf or mask over your nose & mouth to prevent the sting of cold air (especially if you have asthma or heart problems), wear warm clothes and good shoes (and reflective gear if you will be out after dark), and stay hydrated.
Walking in North York
There are some great indoor and outdoor walks you can do around The Medical Station neighbourhood in North York. Our clinic staff enjoy walking in Downsview Park, along Wilson Avenue, and around Yorkdale when it’s really cold. Share your favourite trails and routes with us!
Pain or Discomfort when Walking?
If you are experiencing pain, discomfort, or swelling in your feet and legs, this may be the result of weak arches or planter fasciitis. An orthotic assessment and medical treatment may be required. Please speak to the doctors at The Medical Station if you are experiencing these symptoms or any other type of discomfort from walking.
The Medical Station Encourages Walking
Our physicians and clinic staff recommend walking briskly for 30 minutes a day, or trying to walk 10,000 steps each day. Once The Medical Station opens in Spring 2016 the clinic will have an Exercise Specialist available for appointments to discuss an individualized exercise plan and how to incorporate walking, and other activities, into your routine. Our clinic will also be developing health promotion programs, such as lunchtime walking groups, to further support our patients’ exercise routines and health goals.