Stand Up Straight

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What a wonderful way to spend a weekend!

A vacation right in our own backyard, known as a staycation.  No border or ferry lineups. Our Canadian dollar at par. An opportunity to chat with tourists from around the world.

The only extra thing I had to pack was an umbrella.

Staying at the iconic Sylvia Hotel on English Bay was a journey back in time. Dressed in Virginia creeper just starting to change colours as autumn approaches, she is a grand old dame who has shared her history with visitors for over a century.

Including the swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn.

In fact, Sylvia was a real person whose photos don the corridors. She lived to be 102. I am thinking it was likely because she breathed in all that smoke-free Vancouver air way back when. And she probably did a lot of beach walking.

There is something intoxicating and inviting about the smell of salty sea air.

For me, the draw was so enticing that it made me want to walk the entire seawall around Stanley Park. Strolling the eleven kilometers at a snail’s pace is such a West Coast thing to do, stopping to admire the view or the great blue herons or eavesdropping on conversations spoken in a foreign language.

Yes, I passed countless cyclists and joggers but I was content to walk at my leisurely pace.

Generally, walking is something Zoomers can do even if it means using Nordic poles, a walking stick, cane or a walker.

Walking is good for you, so good in fact that CARP National has added an advocacy issue called Stand Up Straight.  CARP CEO, Moses Znaimer says, “It’s time for Zoomers to stand up straight, and move their buns, to preserve their body and their minds.”

I couldn’t have said it better Moses!

According to the CARP website, walking is the easiest and most accessible form of physical activity.  Walking improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue and improves mood. It creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture, and the list goes on… Plus it’s social and you can share your activity easily with others.

And did I mention walking is fun!

Doctors say that if they could prescribe the benefits of moderate physical activity in the form of a pill, it would change the healthcare landscape.  The far-reaching effects of physical activity work for almost every system in the body, from the brain to the heart.  There is a wealth of evidence to show that moderate activity, even if started much later in life, is good for you… and can improve the quality of life as we age.

CARP will encourage our 300,000 members across Canada to participate in a group walking activity this fall, with the goal of making it a habit that Zoomers will not want to break.

If you would like to learn more about the Stand Up Straight campaign, tune into Joytv’s informative new weekly series called CARPe Diem, seizing the day for Canadians as we age.

The episode features a panel including Moses Znaimer and Ramona Kaptyn, President of your White Rock Surrey CARP chapter.  It airs on Joytv (Shaw 10 and Telus 123) on Monday, September 17th at 5:00 p.m. and repeats on Friday, September 21st at the same time.

To quote Moses, “The best way to keep going is to keep going.”

And what better way than by walking right here at home.

I can’t think of a better staycation.



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