Hall walking is moving to the arena this winter, with greatly expanded hours of operation.
If you haven’t been in the redeveloped arena, you are probably thinking: Oh no, it will be too cold! Forget that – with the new sprinkler system, the arena has to be kept well above freezing. So it’s like walking on a spring or fall day, at about 8°C (46°F).
And there is the added advantage of a slip-resistant, low impact (i.e., soft) floor.
“Holding hall walking at the high school meant we had to get a special insurance policy, which meant we had to have volunteers coming out each night,” said Mellissa Gallagher, health educator at the Northwestern Health Unit. “Having it at the arena means we can forget about all of that, and run the program much more often.”
Hall walking will officially get underway Wednesday. The arena will be open for walkers Sunday through Friday, 4:30 to 8:30 pm each evening. Bring a pair of indoor walking shoes for the best comfort – there is no need for winter gear in the arena.
Fitness walking has actually been going on since the redeveloped arena opened almost a year ago. Hockey, figure skating, and ringette parents figured out very quickly it was the perfect place for a winter walk. Most start with a light jacket or a sweatshirt over their shirt, but have shed that once they warm up after a couple of laps. A quick calculation suggests it takes a little more than six laps of the ice surface (walking close to the boards) to cover a kilometre.
Community services manager Nicole Halasz said the Town is delighted to host indoor walking at the arena, and that it plans to add some daytime hours later in the winter.
“The municipality has made a big investment in this facility, so we are trying to think a little outside the box to get the most use,” she said, adding that she is reaching out now to agencies and other groups that could potentially make use of recreation and wellness centre facilities.
Walking can be your health’s best friend. Proven benefits include weight loss, increased metabolism, a healthier heart, improved muscle tone, stronger bones, joints, and immune system, and increased energy. All that from a little bit of sociable, stress-relieving activity.