Surprising what you can learn about, and from, walking. Since I'm a longtime power walker, I was quite delighted to hear, at a recent lecture by Dr. Stuart MacDonald of the University of Victoria, that walking is the best thing you can do to keep your brain active and healthy! (all exercise is good, but walking, especially fast walking, does do the trick and is a good overall indicator of vitality).
I learned more when I visited Stuart and his PhD student Janet Love at UVic and saw the GAIT Rite computerized walkway (pictured with volunteer Ailsa Roberts, 88, "on board"...thanks, Ailsa!) in use. This nifty device measures our speed, and various aspects of our gait, and when you add mental challenges, like spelling backwards while walking down the mat, you can learn a lot about our cognitive and physical state now and in the future. And then hopefully introduce activities that may lower future risks of falling or even of dementia. Stuart and Janet enthusiastically shared their findings and work with me, and of course made me try the walkway! After this experience, I was even more motivated to get out and walk ..even on those rainy wet coast days.