Walk and Roll Month underway; adapts to times

(WalkAndRollCornwallSDG.ca via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – If you’ve been cooped up in the house and working from home, one of the few events happening in Cornwall and SD&G kicked off today (Monday) encouraging more active living.

Walk and Roll Month is underway with a few changes to make sure it’s safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with Cornwall Newswatch, Eastern Ontario Health Unit Health Promotion Specialist Chantal Lalonde says they’ve been able to adapt the program.

“We had some big plans for 2020 and obviously like everything else this year, it’s sort of been put on ice. (But) considering being outside, on your own, walking, going for a bike ride, rollerblading, are probably some of the safest things you can do right now,” Lalonde said.

The updated website was launched this afternoon (Monday) and Lalonde says they updated their bingo card to be “COVID-friendly.”

“We figured there’s still a way to celebrate what walking and rolling can do for us and how we’re doing it here in Cornwall and across SD&G,” Lalonde said.

Lalonde says they will be looking for people to share their experiences through social media and also rediscover some of the amazing trails and bike paths in our area, many of which are open. But she also wants people to follow public health guidelines.

“I know for myself, I’m out on the trails, out on the path a lot and I’ve seen so many new people out walking with their family. I’m seeing parents with their kids biking…older adults out riding even on the bike path and bike lanes. It’s encouraging to see new people taking a positive spin on the pandemic and spending some time outside and seeing what all this walking and rolling is all about,” Lalonde explained.

She says people should stay home if they have been advised to for health reasons, but there’s no reason not to be outside, getting outdoors will help with your mental health. A number of studies have shown that being by yourself, outdoors is likely one of the safest places to be.

“I think spending time outside and going out on the bike path or walking around your neighbourhood, there’s the benefit of just being outside. Although you’re maybe not physically connecting with people, just being able to connect with people socially. Even if it’s just waving to your neighbour or having a conversation with someone from across the street or six feet (two meters) away, it allows us to feel a little bit of normalcy in this not-so-normal time.”

You can find more on the website (click here) and on their Facebook page (click here).

Lalonde says this may help people get out of the slump of being stuck at home.

“A lot of people we’ve been talking to, it kind of feels like Groundhog Day. This is kind of a chance to sort of do something different for the month of June and maybe have a little bit of fun midst this not-so-fun time.”

The Walk and Roll Month is organized by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit in conjunction with the Active Transportation Group of Transition Cornwall + with support from Centre de sante communautaire de l’Estrie and Big Catch Communications.

“I think this is a really nice opportunity for us to all celebrate together even though we can’t necessarily be physically together. We look forward to see more people out there.”

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