Dec 1, 2010

Hi everyone,

The Walkabout team started this blog last year as a place to share walking ideas. We've talked about a number of walking topics: walking super-heroes, weathering storms, important walks in life, and cool walkers.

However, we're currently examining the role of this blog and how to best support walking enthusiasts like you... and like us. Until we better figure this out we will be taking a break with the keyboard and this blog.

If you have any questions feel free to email In the meantime, keep those feet in motion.

Until next time.

Walkabout team.

Sep 29, 2010


There are a lot of firsts in September.
The first day of school for instance. We all plan for it in our families and this year was a little special since number Four went off to school for the first time. She and big sister , Number Two, walked out to meet the big yellow bus with an entourage that befitted the princess she is. Of course since then, it just Gramma and the girls.
The next first was a big sleepover with school friends. Gramma was tickled pink to hear a big noise on the doorstep and have four little hungry girls check out the menu at her house in case it was better than the pancakes Daddy was making next door ( It wasn't)! I bless the path between the houses daily, even if it did ruin the lawn!
And The Fiddlers Run had the first Marathon Walker. Wayne MacKay managed to walk the course in a very respectable time . (It was better than some runners can do!).Over 30 other walkers joined him for lesser distances , mostly the 10 k. Walking may be the "new" running!
CBRM had its first Walkabout at Work launch on the front plaza. And although it rained, the staff didn't let that stop them. You can see them every Tuesday at noon gathering together to tour the historic downtown .
What firsts have you done this month? Walk, return to work or school ? Hope it was as enjoyable as mine and that October brings even more fun.

Sep 3, 2010

Storm is a-coming

You may wonder what the picture has to do with the storm, but in my mind the rain that is to come reminded me of Noah's Ark, then on to flood waters, then to the Red Sea and Moses. And the picture is of the footsteps made by 1050 walkers and runners and 150 children in the Not Since Moses event this summer in Five Islands, NS. I had the joy of standing in the middle of the sea of participants holding a sign that let people know they were in between a rock and a hard place! So are we now... No matter which way Hurricane Earl decides to go, I am either going to get really wet or have some really high winds. ( depending on which side of the eye we are on.) So my walk today will include walking around the property to gather up things that can blow away or into the windows of my house, making sure we have some water to drink if the power goes out ( we country folk lose our well pumps as soon as the power goes off) and being sure there is something good to read while we wait for the passing of the storm.

But then, the good part comes along. Like the joy of watching the runners and walkers and particularly the faces of all the kids who managed to go the distance and complete the "Mud Run", we will be able to see the sun come out, the heat go down, and enjoy the rest of a long weekend. Best of all, the silver lining of the storm cloud is that it will probably make most of us spend some time with our families and those we live with (which is what we did on the Mud Run weekend in August). So the two events have some connections in my jumbled head. So get out and enjoy the calm before the storm, stay safe during the storm, and enjoy the long weekend.

Aug 17, 2010

Fall Colours

With summer coming to a close and fall ready to begin, it's important to get excited about what's ahead -- colour. Nova Scotia is well known for its beautiful fall weather and the diverse array of colour that blooms on the trees. It's a perfect time of year to celebrate warm breezes, sunny skys and bright foilage. This combination will make even the least likely walker among us want to lace up their shoelaces and head outside.

Luckily, our province has no shortage of places to walk and hike. The opportunities are endless. Whether you visit Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Cape Split, or Delap's Cove or whether you decide to just strol through a local park, through your neighborhood or through your backyard, there is no better way to take life in and enjoy everything that fall has to offer than by going for a walk.

Foot Freedom

Nova Scotia is a beautiful place surrounded by spectacular scenery and great moments waiting to happen. Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring, it's a wonderful place to explore - on foot.

Yes, on foot. Because the best way to see what's around you, is through the freedom of foot travel. There are no blind spots to worry about, no traffic, no car horns blaring, no distractions. Just you, your feet, and the great outdoors.

Aug 11, 2010

2.995 Kilometers

On Sunday August 8, after walking 2,995 kilometers through 88 communities and logging 3.4 million steps, Emily Forrest ended her almost three month long adventure in front of a crowd of close to 100 supporters.

Looking fresh, relaxed and ready for her next step, this amazing walker heard from a few people who were impressed by her accomplishment

Heart and Stroke Foundation Board Chair Dr. Gord Gubitz; Mininster of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Ramona Jennex; and members of the Valley Trekkers Walking Club all took their turns praising Emily for identifying a goal and then taking action to fulfill that goal.

And, since no Nova Scotia event would be complete without music, the soulful sounds of Brazillian group Samba Nova created a celebratory atmosphere that any walker would enjoy - especially one who just completed 2,995 kilometers along the Nova Scotia coastline.

Aug 2, 2010

My very favorite Trail Buddies

This week I spent with One, Two , Three and Four in the HRM. When we could drag ourselves away from the beach, we found a few things to do that kept us outside. One of the most fun things was developing a hidden trail . We climbed over branches, through a muddy bog and some brambles to discover a neatly tucked away trail that led to the local playground. On the way we found old stone cellars ( possibly the foundation of a farmhouse of One and Three's great grandparents.) We found markings to keep the horses who used to use the trail from falling in cellars which may have store food in early times. We also found a huge stone fence which was the property line marker I think. The stones were giant sized and I can't imagine dragging them to form the fence but the pioneers must have been much hardier than I.But mostly we found old socks. ( Don't ask me why!). There were some pretty awesome rocks as well and this is one example of one that the adventurers were able to scale. Then it was over the hill and to the playground. Lots of swinging, monkey bar climbing, and snacking later, we made our way home , this time coming out in the more conventional way by the side of the lane they live on. All in all the trail cut about 2 miles off the jaunt and kept them out of traffic and certainly was more daring than going by car.

I highly recommend finding a trail near you to go exploring.(Grandchildren optional)

Jul 28, 2010

Walkabout at Work

We've said it before and we'll say it again - and again - walking is great for you. For your whole self. Even your hair (Ok, we're not positive about that one but the rest of it is true)

Sometimes, getting out the door to walk more is tough. In the last blog entry, we talked about overcoming barriers to walking by discussing the value of going with a friend or family member. However, another important barrier for lots of people is - time.

But did you know that time spent walking throughout the day adds up? If you can't get out for a half hour walk, try two times during the day in 15 minute increments or 3 times in 10 minute increments. It all counts toward your health.

If your workplace is not able to contribute to your interest in walking more, there's help.

Heart&Stroke Walkabout offers support for workplace walking through - Walkabout at Work. This fun extension of the Walkabout program, provides tools and resources to help support the creation of a walking culture at work.

Contact us and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction. If you like what you hear and read, we will also be happy to deliver a free orientation workshop for your and your colleagues.

To find out more about our schedule of provincial workshops or to access the Walkabout at Work Leader Toolkit electronically, visit

Enjoy your day and don't forget to get out for a stroll!

Jul 27, 2010

A Little Help from my Friends

Everyone needs a friend to lend them a hand now and then or, even better, -- an extra set of feet!

We often get together with friends over a cup of coffee, a nice cold drink, or dinner. But, walking through the park, down the street, on an indoor track, or even while running an errand can be a great way to get caught up, share a laugh, and stay healthy.

Recently, a group of Heart&Stroke Walkabout walkers from Cape Breton met up with super walker Emily Forrest on her trek along the Nova Scotia coastline.

What a great way to provide some encouragement, spend time with friends, and cheer Emily on.

Kudos to the Cape Breton Walkers!

Just a reminder that at Heart&Stroke Walkabout ( you can monitor your progress as a group or you can do it individually. Either way, it's great to spend time walking in the company of others.

A little encouragement goes a long way! Who will you offer your feet too?

Jul 20, 2010

my version of a spa day

Well here I am, on my own for a day in Truro.What to do? No worries. this morning I hit the downtown.. a couple of vintage stores, a neat coffee shop, and then off on the trail system. If you have only a half hour or a whole day, there is trail for you.Check it out at

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Walking in the Summer Heat

The health benefits of walking are tremendous. But, it's important to factor in outdoor temperature when you are preparing to take that stroll. While heat is not something to be ignored, it doesn't have to be a barrier to your favorite form of activity. It's always important to talk with your family doctor or a health professional with questions specific to your situation.

Here are some general tips on summer walking:

- Stay hydrated. Bring water with you, drink before you head out the door, and take frequent water breaks

- Walk at a cooler time of the day - morning or evening - rather than mid-day when the temperature is at its highest

- Wear sunscreen and a hat

- Wear breathable clothing

- Take breaks now and then

- Slow the pace down when your body says so

- If it's just too hot, find an indoor facility with a track or walk through a shopping mall

The most important tip of all? Stay in tune with your body and listen to what it tells you!

Enjoy walking and enjoy the summer warmth!

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Jul 18, 2010

An inspiration

Sometimes you need an inspiration to get moving again...whether it is back to physical activity, painting, singing, or in my case blogging. I got that this weekend when I walked a while with Emily Forrest who is walking the seacoast of Nova Scotia this weekend. Did I mention it is hot in CB this weekend? Swelteringly, blisteringly, excruciatingly hot! And did I mention I hate the heat? So it is not the kind of weather I usually walk in the afternoon, but yesterdayI did just that. And enjoyed myself!(Although I was so sweaty , I am sure no one else enjoyed mine until I hit the shower!) I met up with Emily in New Victoria and we walked into New Waterford. The Summer staff of the East district has set up a shade shelter for her with fruit and water for the folks who could join us. I walked some of the way with a couple of young people from Halifax who were experiencing Coal Dust Days for the first time and who will see Emily on the Halifax commons August 8 th for her return to her home town. Then Vicki , the staff person who accompanied us , led us through the town with lots of info, then around the coastline through the #14 pit yard ( I think I have the # correct) and then on past the new windmill farm. Talk about learning about progression first hand.

After I left them in the heat to visit the dentist( Not so much fun) ,I got back to New Victoria where it felt so cool ;then I read the thermometer and it read 31 degrees. I wonder what is was on the windmill loop?

So look for your inspiration...Thanks to Emily for reminding me of the beauty in my own backyard, and for following her coastline dream...Now you go out and find yours!

To read more about Emily visit her facebook page,!/pages/FORREST-WALKABOUT/226171773121?v=wall


(That's where this great picture of Emily was found!)

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Feb 2, 2010

Baby It's cold outside

Yeah...winter has come. And it is cold..very cold! But one way to warm up is to take several of your favorite people and go for a walk. That's what we did this weekend. We were lucky because the Baille Ard Trail Association was primed for a Take the roof off winter event.(

Numbers 2 & 4 were keen to go and Gramma was too. It was only -10 and windy so dressing in layers was a must.According to the website, in a nutshell you need to be properly prepared to really enjoy walking in a winter wonderland. It's a bit like preparing to go cross country skiing or winter hiking. Just a few simple steps. We suggest you have:
•Good Shoes & Shoe Traction Gear
•Layered Clothing, Gloves, Head Gear & Sunglasses
•Nordic Walking Poles (recommended)
Lots more info on the website so check it out.
Kids have the best gear so really I just needed to find my snow pants, add another layer to my jacket and away we went.

We met lots of great folks there and the grandkids and I followed another family group along behind one of the trail mascots and her owner. There were lots of tracks to see, signs of a woodpecker at work,and a scavenger hunt with prizes at the end. No one wanted to leave but a new hat ( thanks Rec NS ) and a stop at the local Bistro for hot Chocolate ( Thanks Wentworth Perk for mini portions) and we were all set. We had a great time, the trail is wonderful any time of the year, and best of all Mom and Dad had a few minutes to get ready for the next week.

To find out more about Take the Roof off Winter events visit the Recreation NS website and plan your event soon.

Now for Valentines day, We'll dust off the snowshoes because the CB Island Hoppers are having a Take the Roof Off winter event at ski Ben Eoin! There is no end of fun to be had in the CB winter.

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Jan 24, 2010

Couch Potatoes...this is for you.

While trying to decide if I should open my new book or get up and get outside today, I saw a video about scouching on the telly. It seems to meet my need to stay ensconced in the comfy chair and my need to go outside to play. (if you'd like to watch).

And remember the walking back up the hill is fun too!But whatever your ride...couch,tube,toboggan,kid's zipfy, get out and enjoy it.

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Jan 5, 2010

walking in a winter winderland

Not everyone is sad to see the snow. Numbers 1& 3 got new cross country skis for Christmas and were overjoyed to have a chance to use them. ( Note they were also overjoyed that Dad hadn't gotten the driveway cleared of snow yet!) They discovered how fun it is but tiring too. A good round of hot chocolate was required to revive their flagging energy. I can't wait until next week when I arrive with the ZIPFY sleds!

Because CB got more rain than snow, today I met with a group of less well-bundled walkers for the launch of the DHA 8 new Walking at Work program. Paired with my good friends the CB Island Hoppers and the Baille Ard Trail Association( more about that group some other time) and HEAL CB , we set out to lure a few interested walkers to join us on their lunch break. A few turned into a lot and the program will take place every Tuesday and Thursday at noon with the Island Hoppers and Baille Ard group leading the way.

And the same folks are also leading the way on snow shoes on Wednesday Am at 10 and every second Sun morning at Ski Ben Eoin. Maybe next time I'll have a cute picture of them for the blog! And congratulations to one of their fearless leaders, Joe Mac Kinnon , for being named the First Ever Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Ambassador. Joe exemplifies living the good life!

For more exciting winter events, check out for an idea of what's happening near you. And I'll see you on the trail.

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