With autumn now in full swing, the weather is getting cooler and the leaves are beginning to turn. Last year I unfortunately missed out on the majority of the season due to restrictions with my job. You may or may not know, but the 9-5 life is gone and so I want to make up for that lost time. What better way to better enjoy the season than to go out and explore? That’s how my 30 Walks 30 Days plan came to be. Time to break out the walking shoes!
First, a little backstory. Why am I doing this? Well, since I started working from home, I’ve found that I’m having trouble balancing my time. When leaving the 9-5 world, I thought I’ll have so much free time to do what I want! Like work out, swim, eat well… and all that fun stuff. In all honesty, I feel like I work more now than I did in my 9-5! Mind you I’m working on stuff for myself, projects like this bad boy you’re reading now, and I’ve been able to travel so much more. I’m absolutely over the moon about this change in lifestyle! But I’ve had a hard time committing to any personal health goals, and so it’s time to hold myself accountable by going public.
For the month of October, I plan to get back to those exercise goals. For 30 days, I will walk 2km each day to kickstart those good habits again. Why 2km? According to Canadian Physical Activities Guidelines, adults should strive for approximately 150 minutes of exercise a week. This breaks down into about 20 minutes a day, and it takes me about 10 minutes to walk 1km – hence 2km. Some days I’ll blow this goal out of the water, other days I’ll just squeak by, but the plan is to always hit at least 2km each day.
But Lindsay, there are 31 days in October. Yes, there are – I’m giving myself one day of leeway, only one. That’s how committed I am to this! But what if it rains? Then that’s a challenge I’ll have to face – who says you have to walk outside? I’ll have to get creative and find indoor places to get my steps in, or maybe I’ll be bold and brave the rain! Either way, this post will serve as an archive of all the walks I do. So follow along as I update this blog post and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while I complete my #30walks30days challenge!
Although as I said, I’ll need your assistance. Help hold me accountable as I take on this challenge. How can you do this? There are so many ways! Send a nod of encouragement (I’m sure I’ll occasionally need it, especially on those rainy days I mentioned), share my challenge, or even come out for a walk with me! Everyone knows it’s more fun when you have a partner in crime, so let’s plan a hike. Don’t live near me? Let’s go for a hike on the same day and share our views like a sort of virtual hike date. No matter what happens, I’m doing this to become a healthier, more active person… and I hope I’m able to motivate you to do the same!
Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get those feet moving and follow along below as I post updates throughout the month.
Follow along on my adventure, or join me! Pin it for later!
30 walks 30 days – aaaand GO!
Day 1 :: Indian Falls, Owen Sound, Ontario
Kicked my challenge off with a great little hike in Grey County! It’s a shorter hike, however that doesn’t mean it’s an easy one. Located just north of Owen Sound, the trail leads through the Indian Falls Conservation Area. The terrain is quite rough with plenty of rocks and roots, as well as a staircase half way to get you up on the escarpment above the falls. I’ve done this hike before but never during the autumn season, and the views did not disappoint! It was the perfect way to start getting back into the groove, but I was sore by the end of the night. Mind you this is because it wasn’t the only hike I did as I also checked out the Syndenham River to see the Chinook Salmon were spawing.
Day 2 :: Port Dalhousie, St Catharines, Ontario
Style: Out-and-Back with Loop Option
This walk has been on my radar for a while, and despite growing up in town I never got around to doing it. Port Dalhousie is such a great area with little shops and eateries – and a great boardwalk! Part of the Waterfront Trail, you can enjoy views of Lake Ontario from the pier and beach. However I decided to go across the bridge and finally figured out where it leads! Yes I know it says on the map, but it’s more fun to see it for your own eyes. Overall this walk has a bit of an incline, but with paved boardwalks it’s a great leisurely stroll for a sunny day.
Day 3 :: Niagara Parkway Recreational Trail, Niagara, Ontario
Niagara Parks‘ Niagara Parkway Recreational Trail is a great spot, especially to enjoy the autumn colours. With over 50km, there is lots to explore! On this particularly hot autumn day (25°C!), the Niagara River offered a great breeze as I wandered along part of the trail. Completely paved, it’s easily accessible with a number of parking lots along the trail. I enlisted my mom for some company, making it a perfect mother-daughter date! Something to note is that it’s not uncommon to see cyclists, so be aware of your surroundings.
Day 4 :: Welland Canals Parkway Trail, St Catharines, Ontario
Another trail that took me way too long to visit, the Welland Canals Parkway Trail offers over 30km of paved trail which follows the 8 locks of the Welland Canal. Many flock to see the huge transport ships make the trip from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and beyond. I started at Charles Ansel Park where there’s a parking lot and made my way up to Lock 2. Along the trail you’ll see artefacts related to marine life, along with a number of benches to sit and enjoy the view. You can also learn more about the history of the canals at Charles Ansel Park as there are interpretive signs throughout it. Again this trail is paved like the Niagara Recreational Trail, so it’s not uncommon to see cyclists.
Day 5 :: Victoria Park, Kitchener, Ontario
I’m fortunate to live close to a beautiful spot in the heart of Kitchener – Victoria Park! This is honestly a go-to for me when I need a quick break or if the weather is nice. There are plenty of little loops and it also leads right into downtown Kitchener. It’s the main reason I moved to the area, actually! When the sun is out you’ll see plenty of people enjoying the park, and it’s always an easy walk as the paths are all paved. Great for those with mobility issues or little kids.
Day 6 :: Victoria Park, Kitchener, Ontario
Yep, another Victoria Park walk! This one was at night which adds a new level to it as the pathways are lit making it a bit romantic. Did I mention there are also a lot of Pokémon Go stops? Yes, I’m a nerd and I play on occasion!
Day 7 :: John C Munro Airport, Hamilton, Ontario
So this was the day Robin & I left for Winnipeg, and what was a relatively calm day turn into craziness. Poor Robin had to go in for an emergency route canal and so I was preoccupied with packing and making sure we had everything for our trip. I lost track of time and couldn’t manage a walk, but that didn’t stop me! Who says you can’t walk in circles like a crazy person in an airport to get your 2km?
Day 8 :: Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Manitoba
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard
My first Manitoba hike! Spruce Woods Provincial Park has a lot of great trails, and I had heard the Spirit Sands & Devils Punch Bowl trails were amazing. They didn’t disappoint! I have to say though, the area close to the sand dunes was TOUGH. You don’t realize how difficult it is to walk in sand until you have to do it for over an hour! It was worth every stumble as the views were unreal. Although be warned, on the trail map online it says to equate 1km to about 20min, when I can usually do 1km in about 10min. This is definitely the case as the terrain is tough so it takes longer than you would anticipate.
Day 9 :: Lake Audy, Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
After a busy day of exploring Manitoba’s countryside, this was a leisurely stroll. A campground during the summer season, you can wander from campsite to campsite along the Little Saskatchewan River. Robin and I had the place to ourselves as we enjoyed the sunset!
Stay tuned for more updates!
If you do join me, I’d love to hear in a comment below. A big thank you to those who have expressed their love and support so far, I appreciate it!