Take a walk (for your own good)

Getting to campus can be a nightmare. From Nepean to Orléans, students are faced with consistently late buses and ever-climbing gas prices. But, there is another often overlooked way. Across Ontario, only 5.3 per cent of people listed walking as their go-to transportation method, according to the Government of Ontario’s 2016 census. Sure, it might […]
Photo: Thomas Gordon
Ottawa stands as Canada's walking capital, with 28.9 per cent of people living downtown choosing to walk to work, according to Statistics Canada.

Getting to campus can be a nightmare. From Nepean to Orléans, students are faced with consistently late buses and ever-climbing gas prices.

But, there is another often overlooked way.

Across Ontario, only 5.3 per cent of people listed walking as their go-to transportation method, according to the Government of Ontario’s 2016 census.

Sure, it might seem a chore. But, as little as 11 minutes of brisk walking per day –– 75 minutes per week –– can reduce your chances of an early death by 23 per cent, according to a study by the University of Cambridge.

With just 11 minutes a day, your chance of developing cardiovascular disease lowers by 17 per cent, and the risk of developing lung, liver, colon and breast cancer decreases by 11 per cent, according to the study.

Aside from physical benefits, the risk of depression is lowered by 18 per cent, according to a study by the American Psychological Association.

Now, if you don’t feel like hoofing it across Ottawa, that’s okay.

Algonquin College hosts weekly Mood Walks aimed at providing students with a social, mental health-focused walk through Algonquin College’s scenic Horticulture Gardens or nearby Centrepointe Park.

During the walks, led by AC counsellor Christina Latifi, students are encouraged to look inward and express themselves with fellow students.

“I truly believe the benefits walking brings us as humans,” said Latifi. “It’s an easy way to be healthy, and an easy way to stay healthy.”

If the great outdoors don’t appeal to you, Algonquin College offers a 346-metre track, winding through the spacious Jack Doyle Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC).

The track offers three distinct lanes to accommodate all speeds of walking and running.

Mood Walks are available every Monday from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, click here.

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