Thursday, April 10, 2014

Walking to Winnipeg: Welcome to Wawa

Half Way There!

For anyone who has driven across Ontario, the town of Wawa with its massive Canada Goose statue is often a welcome site because it is more or less half way.  As a result, there are probably more motel rooms per capita there than any other town in Canada.

Having received my 1000 kilometer badger from Fitbit today tells me that I've made it to Wawa.  Not bad for three months of walking.  Since the beginning of the year, I have averaged just a little over 10 kilometers a day. 

Now that I'm about half way to Winnipeg, I am pretty confident that I'll make it there in a few more months.  One thing that will slow my progress is that with Spring arriving, I'll be commuting to work on my bicycle, which will means less distance covered on foot.

At the moment, I'm looking at my options for tracking my distance by bike.  It would be nice to know at the end of the year how many kilometres I covered on two wheels and on two feet.

Just in case your wondering, I've dropped 8 pounds since I began my trek.  Hopefully, I can continue to shed more by the time I reach my goal of arriving in the Paris of the Prairies.

Is Walking Just as Good as Running?

I thought I would share this article that I came across in the US News, Health and Wellness section.

A May 2013 study by researchers in the Life Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory looked at data from 33,000 runners and nearly 16,000 walkers to compare the relative health benefits of each activity. From the outside it might seem like running – which is considered a vigorous intensity exercise – must be better for you than walking, a moderate form of exercise. But the results bore out differently, with walking taking a slight edge in the end. But there's a big if, so keep reading.

To be sure, both walking and running had positive effects. When the researchers checked in with participants six years after the start of the study, they found that running significantly reduced the risk of high blood pressure (by 4.2 percent), high cholesterol (4.3 percent), diabetes (12.1 percent) and cardiovascular heart disease (4.5 percent), for every MET h/d, which is a standard measure of metabolic energy expenditure. Great news, right? Well, it gets even better.

Participants who walked regularly saw even better results. Walking decreased risk by 7.2 percent for high blood pressure, 7 percent for high cholesterol, 12.3 percent for diabetes and 9.3 percent for cardiovascular heart disease. The more someone walked or ran, the greater the benefit.


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