Walking is the most popular physical activity in Canada. It is one of the simplest, most economical and natural ways to be active.
|Neighbourhoods where more people are walking tend to be more vibrant, friendly and have lower crime rates.
Our bodies are designed for walking, yet only 30 per cent of Canadian adults walk for exercise four or more times a week.
Incorporate walking into your daily routine to receive these benefits:
- Improved flexibility, coordination, balance and reduced risk of falling
- Improved circulation and cholesterol levels
- Reduced blood pressure
- Decreased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and stroke
- Increased muscle strength, bone density, and joint lubrication
- Decreased stress and tension and improved memory and alertness
- Improved air quality - more people walking means better air quality for everyone
- Save money - walking is free and don't have to pay for parking
The more walking you do, the more benefits you get!
What can you do?
- Choose to walk to work or school or take Grand River Transit as each trip begins and ends with a walk.
- Join a walking group in your neighbourhood or start one on your own (tips can be found here).
- Walking is also a great way to break up long periods of sitting or other sedentary behaviours, even if you only take a few steps.
Worried about losing motivation or walking on your own? Consider forming a walking group! Tips can be found here
Walk, Cycle Waterloo Region: The Region of Waterloo's Active Transportation Master Plan outlines how the Region of Waterloo will improve the walking and cycling environment during the next ten years.
How walkable is your neighbourhood? Check out this new interactive map of the relative walkability of neighbourhoods in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo created as part of the NEWPATH study.
An interactive map is also available for tablets and smartphones:
Interactive Map for Tablets
Interactive Map for Smartphones
The NEWPATH (Nutrition, Environment in Waterloo Region, Physical Activity, Transportation and Health) study is an innovative look at how the design of our neighbourhoods influences travel choices, walking rates, diet, physical activity and health.
Problems with sidewalks or lighting
If you have concerns about the condition of sidewalks or lighting in your neighbourhood, make a note of the address or nearest intersection, what the problem is and then contact your local municipality or the Region of Waterloo at 519-575-4400519-575-4400.
Walking is a year-round activity. Dress in layers with a wind and water resistant outer layer. Wear mitts, hats, neck warmers and warm sturdy footwear designed for snow and ice to keep safe and sound.
Get a Grip this Winter (Region of Waterloo)
Waterloo Region offers a number of parks and trails that are accessible to all ages, incomes, and abilities. Visit the Region's Parks and Trails page to learn more. When walking on the trails, remember to dress for the weather and wear appropriate, supportive footwear!
Links and resources
- Waterloo Region Walks - an independent community partnership of local walking leaders, key stakeholders and community members who have a vested interest in the promotion of walking for all ages for purposes of health, transportation and recreation
- Pedometer Lending Programs for individual use and for workplace walking challenges
- Walk Into Health (Toronto Public Health)
- Why Walk (Ministry of Health & Long Term Care)
- Go the Extra Mile (Ministry of Health & Long Term Care)
- Green Communities iCANwalk
- Waterloo Region Maps of trails, walking routes, etc.
- Google Maps - When you ask Google Maps for directions from one address to another, you have the option of choosing different modes of transportation - car, bus, on foot and bike. (Hint: the bike option shows more trails and walkways than the walking option)