Dozens of Calgarians took a walk on Feb. 4.
The occasion was the U of C’s WinterWalk, an annual celebration of both the season, and the simplest of outdoor exercises.
The walk started in the Student’s Centre in MacEwan Hall, went around campus and ended on the north side of MacEwan.
It took participants around 25-30 minutes to complete the walk.
Katie Chapman, organizer and the health promotion adviser for the university’s human resources department, was happy with the turnout, and said there were some groups walking along with them that she didn’t recognize.
She said the walk is part of a province wide initiative to get Albertans outside for fresh air and exercise on a pleasant February day.
“We get co-oped up,” she said regarding wintertime.
“We want to get from point A to point B as fast as we can,” Chapman added.
She said 150,000 Albertans from schools, communities and workplaces participated in the walk province wide last year.
The walk is hosted by SHAPE, an Albertan organization committed to seeing students select active modes of transportation while they go to school.
The walk is held provincially every year on the first Wednesday of February.
“It’s a chance to get outdoors and benefit from winter walking, get some fresh air, and get people moving,” said Chapman.
She said there were many health benefits walking and getting outdoors.
“It’s good for physical and mental well-being,” she said, adding that it can also help with increasing energy and decreasing stress.
Ashley Humeniuk, an employee at the university, said that she enjoyed the walk.
“It’s a good chance to get outside for some low intensity cardio,” she said, adding that she was happy with the weather.
Humeniuk works in the wellness department and found out about the walk last year from one of her colleagues.
Last year was Humeniuk’s first year participating in the walk.
Katie LeBlanc, another participant, said that the walk was a very good idea, and she enjoyed herself.
According to LeBlanc, fitness is an important part of life.
“Crisp air is refreshing,” she noted.
Participants of the walk received free “swag” provided by Be Fit For Life (BFFL), an organization helping to get college and university students moving.
BFFL donated free sunglasses and winter walking socks for the participants.
According to their website, BFFL currently runs centres on nine different college and university campuses in Alberta.
“It’s good to get outside,” LeBlanc said.