As the weather warms up and paths clear, you can feel spring just around the corner. The mild and sunny days provide a perfect excuse to get outside and get moving! Saddlestone, with its fused grid system, provides a multitude of ways to take advantage of outdoor activities like walking or jogging. The community is equipped with pathways, greenspaces, playgrounds and water features, all ensuring a quiet, family friendly space to be active.
Whether you’re a seasoned trail blazer or just getting into walking, the program below provides examples of accessible, mobility based walking programs you can use next time you’re out exploring your neighbourhood!
GENESIS LAND SPRING PROGRAM!
First, make sure you are dressed for the weather. Although it’s warming up, Calgary’s weather can be unpredictable, change at any moment or just feel chilly when the sun goes behind a cloud! Gear up with the following to ensure you’re ready for anything:
- Good running shoes with the right support for your feet
- Water bottle
- Light gloves
- Running spikes (great if there’s ice on the path!)
- Layers, add a vest of wind breaker so you can take on or take off layers as often as the weather shifts!
Call a friend! Staying active is easy when you’ve got a friend or family member to join you. Use it as a time to catch up, socialize or even run an errand by walking to the nearby shopping centre.
Start with a stretch. For a warm up, keep these stretches dynamic by slowly moving into your end range of motion, returning back to your original position then working back into the stretch 3-5 times through.
- Standing side stretch
- Standing calf stretch
- Standing quad stretch
- Chest Opener stretch (lat pull down)
Add progression with small challenges. Depending on your starting point and your goals you can add challenges by increasing your distance, pace or by adding in simple exercises along the way!
Add distance: You can do this by adding time to your walk, like increasing it by 5 minutes every week. Or you can bump up the distance walked by choosing a longer loop, a further landmark or by simply adding 0.5- 1km/ week. * Pro tip: You can also track your distance through the number of steps you’ve taken. Shoot for 2000-3000 steps to start, working your way up week by week! Most phones have a “health” app and will tell you how many steps you’ve taken as long as you have your phone on you as you walk!
Increase pace: Challenge your pace with intervals! Try the following:
- 5:00 minutes, warm up pace (easy, able to hold a conversation, ~ HR [heart rate] 60-70 BPM [beats per minute])
- 1:00 minute increase your pace (still able to hold a conversation but breathing heavier, ~ HR: 80-100 BPM)
- 1:00 minute active rest, back to your warm up pace (~HR 60-70 BPM)
- 2:00 minutes speed walk (unable to hold a conversation, ~ HR 100- 120 BPM)
- 2:00 minute active rest, back to your warm up pace (~HR 60-70 BPM)
Complete steps 2-5, 2-3 more times for a 25- 30 minute challenge
Track your progress! Use a journal to record the time or distance of your walk, noting how you felt (strong, out of breath, happy to connect with friends, etc). Or use a tracking device like a FitBit to see your overall step count, maximum heart rate, etc. The more you track the more you can see tangible progress!
Lastly if you’re looking for some new music and a fun way to put a spring in your step, check out our curated playlist HERE or make your own on Spotify, Apple Music or wherever you get your music.
Excited to get up and get walking?! Us too! Explore your neighbourhood and get to know Saddlestone! Enter in our Spring in Your Step giveaway for your chance to win a Fitbit Versa 2™ Smartwatch!