Blog post 

Incorporating Physical Activity Into Your Daily Routine

A person we’d like you to meet… Dr. Allan Bailey

When it comes to physical activity, Dr. Bailey is doing his best to “walk the talk.”

Bailey is a family doctor at the Westgrove Clinic in Spruce Grove. When his schedule and the weather allows, he can be found biking to and from work.

The physician encourages others to fit physical activity into their daily routines — not only to benefit their physical health, but their mental health as well.

“Prevention is a big part of what we do in family medicine — trying to convince people to be healthy,” he said. “We’re hoping people can shift their way of thinking.”

Bailey is a member of Achieving Community Together (ACT), a local group that encourages residents to get outside and get active. By doing so, it helps people feel good through physical activity and by meeting others they might not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.

“Not only does increased activity and wellness reduce obesity and therefore diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but it also reduces the risk of cancer,” Bailey said.

Research has shown those dealing with a mental illness can also see positive results from becoming more active.

The benefits of hitting the local trails for cycling, jogging or walking the dog doesn’t end there. Getting outside means meeting new people you otherwise wouldn’t cross paths with.

“It’s somebody in your community that, when you’re rushing by in a car at 60 or 70 kilometres an hour, it’s pretty tough to have that same interaction and conversation,” Bailey said. “But when you walk, cycle, skateboard or in-line skate around town, you might actually run into people that you can say hello to. It contributes to this sense of wellness and belonging.”

It’s these little interactions that can help build a community.

“Everybody spends so much time alone,” Bailey pointed out, adding people often come home from work and lie down in front of a screen.

This limits social interactions.

But getting outside and getting active doesn’t have to be a chore, Bailey emphasized.

Ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine include:

  • biking or walking to work, school and other places
  • taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • taking public transit

Bailey noted those who ride public transit can get the majority of their 10,000 steps per day by walking to and from the bus stop as well as walking to other points upon arrival.

The trail systems in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain make it feasible for people to walk or cycle to work, the grocery store and for other errands when the weather is nice.

“It’s lovely to do that on a spring or summer morning, and it puts a different spin on the whole day,” Bailey said.