Overweight and Inactive
If sale of Fitbits and other fitness trackers was an indicator, Canadians should rank among the most fit, slim people on the planet. Instead, we rate as one of the most overweight populations among OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which includes 18 European nations and Canada and the US.) when BMI (body mass indexes) are considered.
How does this make sense? Do we, as Canadians, have worse diets, poor nutrition, no opportunities for exercise or some combination of these things. According to the Stanford University Study, the answer is that we are lazy, couch potatoes.
Ten thousand steps is touted as a goal for walking fitness. The Study found that Hong Kong’s citizens were most active walking an average of 6,880 steps a day. Down the list of countries, Canadians take 4,819 on average, just beating out the Americans with 4,774.
On a local level, we have great opportunities to up our “steps.” Our small town has a network of walking paths that it has been adding to. If you walked them all, you’d be likely to double the 10,000 steps. If you want to go a bit afield, then at Mistahiya, there is a beautiful walking path along the Battle River. Alberta is a winter province but if the weather gets nasty, you can still walk. The Communiplex offers a free walking track that is open to the public most days. There is no charge.
My small town is not unique in offering walking trails. Other communities have the same amenity so people just aren’t taking advantage of these opportunities. It is hard for someone working to find time to “just go for a walk,” but the rewards are many. When you go outside, there is the fresh air, right now the geese fill the sky with their honking, and you always run into someone to say hello to. Nature, human contact, and wildlife. What more could you ask for? Give that Fitbit something to count.
Scruff on the walking path at Mistahiya.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.