Winter Walk Day gets community moving
Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 06:00 am
Winter weather won’t stop some Okotokians from going for a walk next week.
The Pason Centennial Arena will host the annual Winter Walk Day on Feb. 7, a province-wide event which sees communities track the amount of time residents spend being active for the day and log it online.
“Every year there seems to be more and more people participating in it,” said Mark Doherty, Okotoks community events co-ordinator. “It’s to get people active and brag that Okotoks and the Foothills are a very active community.”
Doherty will be stationed at the arena walking track from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to record how much time people spend being active. He said last year’s total was just shy of 130 hours.
For the first time, the Crescent Point Field House will also participate, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents can also submit their activity details online at shapeab.com. Those participating at the two arenas also have the opportunity to win prizes.
The walking track at the arena is well-used by people trying to keep in shape year round, Doherty said.
“Certainly with the icy conditions we experience in Alberta with the thaw and freeze people take advantage of the indoor track,” Doherty said.
“It’s a beautiful facility and it’s free.”
He typically sees seniors utilizing the facility early in the morning.
“It’s great to see people at that age being so active,” he said. “Last year a school group came in and people came in after work.”
Many who use the walking track make it part of their daily routine, particularly in the winter.
“I think we are a very active community and I noticed that from our indoor walking track you see people walking all the time,” he said. “Particularly the senior community utilizes the track on a regular basis to keep in shape and for the social aspect, too. There has been a number of people in groups that come in and walk for an hour and all go out for coffee together.”
Doherty encourages Okotokians to join friends, co-workers, neighbours or family members to walk the track and join more than 100,000 other Albertans in this free event.
Winter Walk Day typically brings 300 to 400 people to the arena walking track, said Doherty.
“If the streets are bare and dry our attendance will be down a little bit and people will walk outside,” he said.
Some Okotoks schools get involved in Winter Walk Day with their own activities, including staff and students at Westmount School.
Grade 8 student Nyah Ulmer said they walk for about half an hour through the neighbourhood in the afternoon.
“It’s a good time for everyone to just be outside and in the fresh air instead of being in the classroom. You actually get to be in nature and it’s kind of a way to clear your head.”
To learn more about Winter Walk Day go to winterwalkday.ca