Being On the Boardwalk

Being On the Boardwalk

Photograph of the one side of the boardwalk (Source: Lee Everts).

Regardless of the season, the colour of the sky, whether calm or forceful gale, there is bound to be someone who can be found running, rambling or being propelled by the wind on the boardwalk. Built in part in the early 1980s and then continued in the the early 1990s, the boardwalk sits atop a seawall. It has become an iconic element of the Town of Placentia.

Enhanced by three gazebos, one is located near Oceanview Efficiency Units. Another is on the other side by the road turning to Southeast and the other is near the Jerseyside beach. Painted a vivid blue, perhaps a reflection of a blue sky, real or simply imagined, the boardwalk is an unmistakable asset for the Placentia area.

Apparently it was a George Trevelyan who, in 1913, uttered these words — “I have two doctors, my left leg and my right.” Too true. Without question walking is immensely good for your health, both physical and mental.

Walking has been hailed for its contributions to our physical health. Health Canada touts physical activity as a sure path to healthy living. For seniors, in particular, Health Canada lauds the benefits of a “weight-bearing physical activity” as helping to reduce the rate of bone loss linked with osteoporosis, maintenance of strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and it can can help reduce the risk of falls, as well. However, regardless of age, from children to seniors, a place such as the boardwalk provides access to an activity that can enhance physical health.

Gazebo on the one side of the boardwalk (Source: Lee Everts).

But anyone who’s taken a walk along the boardwalk will know that this simple pleasure and activity is beneficial to body and mind. As the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s “Mental Health Promotion” notes, the one is connected to the other. For instance, one of the key benefits of mental health promotion is an improvement to physical health.

So, the two are tightly interwoven. Given this connection, the Public Health Agency of Canada notes how regular physical activity “can improve your overall sense of well-being by improving fitness levels and self-esteem, reducing the effects of stress, increasing energy and contributing to positive mental health.”

For instance, taking a walk along the boardwalk provides both a time and a place where the rigours or simply the regular routines of the day, can fade into the background. Perhaps it’s been a frustrating or worrisome day. To be sure, we may have to again gather up those thoughts and worries when we return from a walk along the boardwalk. Still, every now and then, they’ve lost some of their vigour and potency once we do. Taking a walk will sometimes allow some time for us to mentally sift through the nooks and crannies of the concern. So, we return to our day with a different and perhaps improved perspective.

And as well, when taking a walk along the boardwalk, we may meet someone we know. Speak with many who have strolled along the boardwalk in Placentia and they will quickly remark how they invariably meet people whom they know. So, whether it’s merely a smile we exchange, a brief “how’re you doing” and comment about the weather or perhaps a longer chat, the boardwalk brings us together.

Either way, a walk, run or trundle on the boardwalk is a shared pursuit, one allowing us to enjoy and experience the inherent ties that, however quietly and imperceptibly, connect us. Without question, it’s a lovely place to be!

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