Walk for your health, says Sidney doctor

Walking can be the gateway exercise to better overall fitness and health.

Dr. Brian Saunders pipes in the many walkers and caregivers

The simple act of placing one foot in front of the other can offer excellent health benefits — including for one’s mind and soul.

Dr. Fiona Coleman, one of three doctors on hand at the annual Walk With Your Doc event at Sidney’s Rest Haven Lodge recently, says walking can be the gateway exercise to better overall fitness and health.

“If you can get out and walk on a daily basis — you don’t always have to do a big workout — it can be very beneficial,” she says. “For the elderly, it’s great for balance. They should always use a walker or cane if they need to, but walking is a great exercise.”

She adds getting outside does wonders for one’s overall well-being, as it promotes socialization.

Coleman says the Walk started in 2010, an initiative of the Doctors of B.C. On Wednesday, she says, there were 45 regions hosting an estimated 60 walks, with 3,500 people and around 400 doctors.

Her own father is a resident at Rest Haven Lodge and says he is getting excellent care. She adds she is also a member of the Rest Haven Foundation, the facility’s fundraising wing.

Residents and caregivers from Sidney care homes gathered for the Walk and started off with a few stretches and warm-ups, led by Michelle Peike of the Physios of B.C.

Led by piper, Dr. Brian Saunders, participants — including local politicians, health professionals and staff from Panorama Recreation Centre and the Heart and Stroke Foundation — went along Mills Road to Resthaven Drive on a circular route. They were watched over by members of the Sidney Fire Department.

Coleman says the event shows how anyone can get outside and go at their own pace, fast or slow.

“You’re never too old.”