Walking program launched at mall to encourage active living
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 16, 2014 12:43 pm
Airdrie residents who want to get their walking fix but don’t want to deal with the winter elements now have a program that is right up their alley.
The Highland Primary Care Network (HPCN) has launched a walking program at CrossIron Mills, which will see walkers get together every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. for a hour-long session that includes a stroll around the mall.
“This is something that we have been working on for quite some time,” HPCN Executive Director Micheline Nimmock said during the program’s official launch on Jan. 11. “We wanted to have a program that would provide a safe, indoor opportunity for people to be more active by walking with friends, family, or by themselves, and we found the perfect place here at CrossIron Mills.”
“We’ve got the kinks walked out, so to speak, and now we are excited about getting things started,” she added.
The HPCN program has partnered up with CrossIron Mills and the UWalk walking website, which is a program that was formed this fall to get Alberta residents to walk 10,000 steps a day.
“In doing one lap around the mall, which took about 10 minutes, we did almost 1,000 steps, so you would be able to do about 10,000 steps if you walking around here for an hour-and-a-half.” said Dr. Kerry Mummery, who is the dean of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta and works with UWalk. “It’s pretty challenging for someone to get their 10,000 steps a day though, as work and leisure have removed most physical activity from most people’s day to day activities.”
“However, having something like this here at the mall is a good place to start, as it’s kept away from the elements and there is enough different lanes and places to walk in instead of going around a track in loops,” he added.
Those who go to the mall on Tuesday mornings are encouraged to meet at the Fireside Court, which is located near entrance #2, at 8 a.m. to meet with HPCN Kinesiologist Tejal Sisodiya.
Sisodiya will be there to help walkers register for the UWalk website, so they can keep track of their progress, and to answer any questions about fitness.
“I’ll be walking with people, giving them guidance about stretching and things like that, along with figuring out what walking program is best for them,” Sisodiya said. “We will be doing laps around the mall of course, but it will be different for everyone as you will have young children who are here with their parents, or older people who may be using a walker to get around.”
“This is a great way to be active at this time of year, especially when you are in a safe environment where you don’t have to worry about slipping and falling,” she added. “We will try to look at having something like this in the summer for those who want to walk outside, but we will start looking more into that in the months ahead.”
Those who are looking for more information about the HPCN program can contact either Nimmock at 587-287-1727.