It’s a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and many of us have started going for walks to break up the day, to get some exercise or to safely visit with friends and family. If you’re really bored, you could consider taking up racewalking – it’s actually an Olympic sport!
Whether you’re speed walking or going for a leisurely stroll, walking is great for your physical and mental health:
- It is low-impact exercise that is good for your heart – walking is the most popular kind of physical activity!
- It increases blood flow to the brain, which can help if you’ve hit a wall with work.
- It alleviates joint pain.
- It lowers cortisol, the stress hormone.
- It boosts immune function.
- It may help you live longer – physical fitness is linked to a longer life span.
- Walking is also proven to boost creative thinking by 60% – so going for a walk may benefit any creative hobbies you’ve taken up during the pandemic.
With the decrease in cars on the road due to stay-at-home orders, many cities in Canada are experiencing lower rates of pedestrian accidents. In fact, 2020 was Toronto’s safest year for pedestrians (and cyclists) in more than a decade. This is great news, as Toronto is full of wonderful places to go for a walk.
Wherever you choose to walk, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:
- Look both ways before you cross the street.
- Pay attention to signs and signals.
- If walking after dark, avoid wearing dark clothing and wear items of clothing with reflective strips so you are visible to drivers.
- If walking during the day, wear bright colours so you stand out to drivers.
- Be aware of your surroundings – if you’re listening to music or a podcast, make sure you are still able to hear background noise; avoid texting and staring at your phone.
- If you must walk on the road (i.e., there is no side walk) walk facing traffic.
- When crossing in front of a car, be sure to make eye contact with the driver to ensure they see you.
- Don’t jay-walk.
- Avoid going for a walk after consuming alcohol or drugs (higher blood-alcohol levels are co-related with pedestrian injuries)
Walking is a great way to beat COVID-19 boredom while getting healthy and happy. With the warmer weather approaching it’ll be even that much more enjoyable. Have fun and walk safe!
Thomson Rogers offers free consultations so please feel free to reach out to us at any time. We are here to help.
Ava N. Williams is a personal injury lawyer and associate at Thomson Rogers. Her practice is devoted to representing Plaintiffs in personal injury litigation and she is committed to advocacy both in and out of the courtroom. Ava can be reached at 416-868-3130 or by EMAIL.
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