Walking is the most underrated and underappreciated form of exercise out there. Physical activity does not have to be complicated or vigorous to live a healthier life. The Mayo Clinic compiled a list of benefits that can happen if you walk regularly:


  • Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes
  • Improve cardiovascular fitness
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve muscle endurance
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve your mood, cognition, memory, and sleep
  • Improve your balance and coordination
  • Strengthen immune system
  • Reduce stress and tension


The Mayo Clinic recommends you plan your routine to keep up with regular walking. It is important to get the right footwear with proper support along with comfortable clothing that allows you to take off layers if you get too hot. Some people use tracking apps on their phones or bring pedometers to track steps, heart rate, and distance. They say to choose your path ahead of time to ensure you walk in safe areas. They even recommend heading to your local mall if the weather is not cooperating.


A general goal for regularly staying physically active includes 30 minutes of activity a day, and this can be broken into three ten-minute bouts if the timing is a barrier. To help people reach their physical activity goals, Northern Hearts, a non-profit charity looking to increase education and heart-healthy programming, is passionate about helping others become physically active. This June they are hosting their 19th Annual Walk with Doc:

  • June 6 to June 30.
  • Monday to Thursday from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Held at Marina Park, gathering at the Celebration Circle.
  • The goal of the Walk is to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for Thunder Bay residents.
  • Walkers are invited to attend for an opportunity to enjoy daily social walks with local doctors to discuss their health, get some exercise, and win weekly prizes. No registration is required.

It is important to note that COVID-19 is still very present in the community, and to make this event as safe as possible, they ask that you self-screen when you come to the event and wear your mask when gathered together before the Walk begins. For those uncomfortable with participating in an in-person event or who cannot make the Walk evenings, a Virtual Walk, similar to previous years, will take place over two virtual platforms (Facebook and Email), where participants can comment and post pictures featuring the walk they went on.

If you have any questions, please contact Kayla Waddington at northernhearts@tbaytel.net.

For more information about the Mayo Clinic Resource: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261

For more information on heart health and information on how to live a healthier lifestyle, check our weekly social media posts on Facebook (@NorthernHeartsThunderBay), Instagram (@NorthernHeartsThunderBay), Twitter (@northernhearts8), and LinkedIn (@Northern Hearts Non-Profit Organization).

Submitted by: Kayla Waddington, Program Coordinator, Northern Hearts