Name: Bev Neuls, 78

Health condition: Poor circulation in legs, isolation, mild anxiety and depression.

Health goal: Less pain, more stamina, energy and socialization.

How I Feel Now: For the last three years, I’ve been walking twice a week with the South Calgary PCN walking group. Not only do I have more pep, but my legs feel less sore when I walk. Plus, I enjoy chatting and laughing with the walkers. I also feel better about myself — I am more confident. We can’t live life totally on our own. Sometimes we need a little help. This understanding has helped me make a big decision. After living alone since my husband died in 2000, I am moving into a local retirement community where there are so many activities to get involved with. Maybe I can even help someone else.

Walking Together: When Bev started with our group, she made connections instantly. My sense is she is social by nature, but had become a bit withdrawn. This is not uncommon as we age. The group provides a regular opportunity for Bev to be with others and acts as a sounding board for what’s going on in her life. Plus, upping her step count has helped ease her leg discomfort. I have seen a metamorphosis with Bev, emotionally and physically. Walking and talking has a positive ripple effect on all aspects of our lives.

— Katie Krenz, kinesiologist and community development lead, South Calgary PCN

Written by Colleen Biondi
Photographed by George Webber

This story appears in the latest issue of Health Matters magazine. Read the full issue here.