Special Initiative Encourages Seniors to Get Walking
As a doctor and chairman of the Manitoba Medical Association's Public Health Issues Committee, Dr. Roger Suss knows full well the health benefits of walking.
In addition to reducing one's risk of heart disease and diabetes, walking also makes a person feel good, says Suss, a Winnipeg family physician. "One of the benefits from exercise is a general sense of well-being – feeling better," says Suss. "We certainly do want to see people walking as much as they can."
It's with that in mind that Suss and members of the MMA's Public Health Issues Committee are collaborating with ”THE FOOTWEAR SPECIALISTS” at Canadian Footwear for the "Walk Your Shoes Off!" Seniors Mall Walking Challenge. Aimed at promoting healthy living in seniors aged 55 and older, the initiative encourages seniors to go beyond their daily activities and get healthier by walking, including mall walking. "Exercise is a healthy choice that we would like to see everyone make, including seniors" says Canadian Footwear's Brian Scharfstein (Certified Pedorthist), who points out the collaboration with the MMA is a long-term project.
Scharfstein says the initiative encourages people to go beyond what they are already doing in their normal routine.
Proper footwear is important for getting the most out of walking and with that in mind, Scharfstein and his colleagues at Canadian Footwear pride themselves in educating people about proper footwear and orthotics and in helping people find footwear that is right for them.
Seniors who register for the initiative's Senior Mall Walking Challenge will receive a 20% discount on selected walking shoes at Canadian Footwear. Registration for the Mall Walking Challenge is free. No purchase is necessary.
People are encouraged (at no cost or obligation to them) to bring in their current footwear, so that Canadian Footwear staff can see if they are wearing the proper footwear. "It's important to have appropriate, functional footwear," says Scharfstein. "It doesn't have to be expensive but it has to fit correctly and have appropriate support."
Seniors may register at any of the 3 Canadian Footwear locations in Winnipeg which include 128 Adelaide St., 1504 St. Mary's Rd. and 1530 Regent Ave. To register, new participants must hand in their completed registration form providing their current walking level and mall walking challenge goal. Mention the phrase "Dr. Suss sent me" and receive the 20% discount on your footwear purchase. Each person who registers will also receive a log book to chart their progress.
Mall walking is a great option for people who don't want to have to contend with such things a slippery or icy sidewalks or extremely hot or cold weather conditions. However, Scharfstein points out that seniors of various ability levels are encouraged to take part in the walking initiative as well, even if they can't get out to a mall. Walking around the house is one example of how people can still take part in the walking challenge, says Scharfstein.
Registering for the challenge is an important way for seniors to stay motivated, he says. "We want to see everybody walking. It doesn't take a lot to add to your health by walking."
For more information about the "Walk Your Shoes Off!" Seniors Mall Walking Challenge", contact Rich Hildebrand at Canadian Footwear at 944-7463 ext. 212 or check out their website at www.canadianfootwear.com