26,702,926 Steps across Canada towards a Healthier Lifestyle

Riverside Glen challenge Encourages residents to Move More

As in every community across the country, each Schlegel Village has found different ways to celebrate the beauty of Canada to mark 150 years of confederation. At Riverside Glen, residents in competing neighbourhoods in both long-term care and retirement decided to challenge each other in metaphorical walk across the country, from Victoria to St. John’s, then north across the Territories and back to Vancouver Island.  

Residents from Riverside Glen's Williamsburg neighbourhood
tallied the most steps in the Walk Across Canada challenge.

Some of the residents who participated wore pedometers tracking every step they took throughout the day, while others spent dedicated time in the fitness centre at the NuStep machine, pushing themselves to go a little farther each time. In total, the Village tallied 26,702,926 steps throughout the months of July and August in the name of friendly competition and a healthier lifestyle. It was a reminder of the benefits of the Move More initiative, which reminds team members and residents to consciously make the effort to be a little more active every day.

Jack Stevenson was one of the participants, and a year before he couldn’t even walk. As a lifelong farmer, he was used to steady physical activity, but heart trouble began to slow his pace as he aged. He still made a point of walking around the farmhouse 10 times in the morning and 10 times at night. The day he fell, injuring his shoulder and hip, he was on the backside of the house, his son at the front.  It took a while before he was found. That fall put Jack on his path to Riverside Glen last summer and he remembers being in a wheelchair when he toured the village and saw his suite for the first time.

Now he’s walking every day, eager to track his steps despite the fact that the actual walk across Canada challenge officially finished at the end of August. Jack says that as his physical health improved and he grew stronger, his mental health improved as well, “all the way.”

The fall was difficult to handle, he admits, as was the choice to move into a retirement home, but he says people like Kylie Martin, the village kinesiologist who works with the residents to help them regain and maintain their independence, are beyond helpful.

“All the ones who do the exercises are perfect ladies,” Jack says.

And the friendly competition that arose through the walk across Canada challenge helped to push people to do a little more each day. “You bet it was,” Jack says, when asked if a little competition is a healthy thing. His friend Norm still asks every day how many steps Jack has taken, and for Kylie and the rest of the team, that’s exactly what they want to see after a challenge such as this.

They not only found a fun way to celebrate the wonderful country they call home; they also discovered a new love of fitness and a reason to remind each other to move a little more each day.

Learn more about The Village of Riverside Glen