Walking for everyday good health

Tamara Gordon, 69, of Calgary has been a dedicated walker since she arrived from the Ukraine at the age of seven with her parents and, as a family, they explored their new city on foot. Tamara loved the outdoors and walked regularly, well into her sixties, along Calgary’s v pathways. “With a pedometer at my waist, I challenged myself to go further each time as I enjoyed the sight of sparkling water, the sound of birds and the deliriously joyous faces of dogs out for a run,” she explains.

However, five years ago on one of her regular walks, she began to feel a burning pain in her knees. “At first I paid no attention and tried to keep on with my routine, but it became more and more painful,” she says. Soon her regular walks had to stop when she learned that her illotibial (IT) band, a group of fibers running along the outside of the thigh to below the knee, was damaged. As a result, her knees were not functioning properly.

After two years of diagnosis and treatment which included physiotherapy and gym rehabilitation activities, she was finally able to start walking again, slowly, carefully and mindfully rebuilding her old healthy habits. “During the time it took to complete the treatment, I felt trapped by my lack of good health. I discovered how critical fitness was to my sense of well being,” she says.

A happy ending
A retired teacher, she’s now happily back walking eight to 16 kilometers a day along the Bow River, enjoying the scenery and the music on her headphones. She supplements her walks with Tai Chi and visits to the gym where she rides a stationary bike and lifts weights.

With her $1500 prize money from BOOST® Meal Replacement drink, she hopes to take a walking tour in Spain or the British Isles. “It will be a wonderful way to celebrate the beginning of my 70s in fitness and good health,” she says.

Boost Your Flexibility
Flexibility or stretching exercises improves the body’s bending points and extends mobility and balance with less muscle strain. Stretching exercises are important for people like Tamara before heading out for an extended walk. Here are some ways to boost your flexibility.

1. Yoga and Tai Chi are both activities that focus on improving flexibility. For a nutritious snack on the go, take along BOOST® Meal Replacement drink to get some extra protein, calcium and vitamin D.

2. Before starting out on a walk, boost your range of motion with side-to-side body twists and circular arm swings. To stretch the quadriceps, stand with one hand on a table for security and bend the opposite leg at the knee, holding it behind for a few seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg.

3. To stretch the hamstrings, raise one leg out in front as high as possible or rest the leg on a table at waist height and hold for a few seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

4. Forward and side lunges also serve as good warm-up exercises to improve flexibility before walking.

Stay Strong, Stay Active
BOOST® is a complete meal replacement rich in nutrients that helps you stay strong and active so you can keep doing all the things you love. BOOST® meal replacement provides complete nutrition with 26 essential vitamins and minerals and 10g of protein to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit BoostNutrition.ca