Well-walked and well-read

by Jim Grieve RTOERO CEO

Dr. Paula Rochon, the RTOERO Chair in Geriatric Medicine, wrote the following in a Toronto Star article about walking and health in April: “Steps matter to health. While we often hear about the benefit of taking 10,000 steps a day, a study of older women by the Women’s Health Study found that taking 4,400 steps or more per day was linked to lower mortality.”

In my first ever Renaissance submission, back in 2015, I challenged myself and RTOERO members to walk 10,000 steps per day for healthy, active living. For the most part, I have managed to maintain an annual daily average of about 7,000 steps. All of those steps took me outdoors in every type of weather and with all the benefits of exercise, fresh air and loads of natural vitamin D.

But that’s not all. For more than 25 years, inspired by a North York colleague, I have been walking (and commuting) while listening to books from Audible.ca and Libby, the public library service. The double benefit of exercise for the body and the latest fiction and non-fiction for the brain has become a daily necessity and pleasure.

During the two-year pandemic alone, I have listened to 116 books, alternating between gripping novels by authors such as John Sandford, Michelle Good and Lee Child and thoroughly researched works of non-fiction by authors such as David McCullough, Thomas King and RTOERO’s own Ted Barris.

What began 25 years ago as a way to stay current with the flood of books I wanted to read evolved into this daily joy of getting outside, rain or shine, moving and being moved by inspiring books, performed by outstanding readers.

When you want daily, complete exercise, mind and body, consider adding audio books to your walking or hiking routine. You’ll be both well-walked and well-read!

Best wishes,