Do you walk with a purpose? Your life may depend on it

calgary-arial.jpg
I remember the excitement of the deal. Walking fast with your partners eagerly anticipating; a real thrill of business life. A casual hello in passing to your colleagues, brothers in arms had it no better.

In Calgary there is a pathway in downtown called the +15. It's an elevated path over streets connecting many second floors. The path connects downtown business, improves the retail sales frontage of buildings and gives a convenient dry and warm path during winter cold and rain. It's a great idea. 

hong kong central elevated walkways

When I traveled in China I saw this idea repeated in their mega-cities, but instead of one floor, there, they interconnected ten or more floors. In Hong Kong many areas are built with malls, business and home life completely self contained. It's a great pattern to emulate for overpopulated areas.

For many years, I've walked the +15 to work and business meetings. There are well over a thousand oil and gas companies connected by the +15. If there is an energy deal going down in Canada, chances are it's happening in Calgary. 

With depressed oil price, the +15 is a relic of its former glory. Many of the food courts and coffee houses are suffering. Some have closed their doors. You could fire a canon off in parts of Calgary downtown and not hit a person.

But I remember the excitement of the deal. Walking fast with your partners eagerly anticipating; a real thrill of business life. A casual hello in passing to your colleagues, brothers in arms had it no better.

The pulse of Calgary can be felt on the +15. Healthy business environment and that vein of Canada's energy industry pulses. When healthy, often the route is packed, traffic jams and all.

It turns out that positive 'feel' and fast walking environment is good for you. Researchers have discovered that walking speed can be a useful predictor of how long adults live.

Those who walked 1 meter per second (about 2.25 mph) or faster consistently lived longer than others of their age and sex who walked more slowly, the study showed.

 stephen avenue walk, calgary, ab

stephen avenue walk, calgary, ab

Apparently walking speed was a more accurate predictor of life expectancy than age or sex. The way we walk and how quickly we can walk depends on our energy, movement control and coordination, which, in turn, requires the proper functioning of multiple body systems, including the cardiovascular, nervous and musculoskeletal systems.

Some postulate walking speed monitors could be used to calculate the health of a population. It kinda reminds us of Darwinism's culling of the heard idea, only the strong survive.

ubc students

The point is, purposeful living translates into healthy living. I can see that today when I visit the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In fact, the same is true on most University campus. Active, mostly young people, walking fast; questing after life and education. The future is there, alive and well. 

Yes, I know, it's good to stroll. Stop and smell the roses. But it's also good to have purpose and a place to be.