The days are getting shorter, the jackets are coming out and a rainbow of leaves covers the ground. It is fall and even though it might be a bit rainier, it is still gorgeous here in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, as the temperature drops, for many of us, so does our motivation to exercise. But don’t let the shorter daylight hours and cooler weather keep you from giving your body what it needs.
In the United States and in many countries around the world, we rely heavily on our cars to get around, especially when they promise the comfort of heat on cold days and shelter when it rains. This often means we have to deal with more traffic, too. So why not take time this season to rediscover the power of your own two (booted) feet, and avoid the traffic?
Neighborhoods in cities around the country have a “walk score” that rates how easy it is to walk to places like grocery stores, banks and schools. The higher the walk score, the easier and safer it is to get places on foot. The easier and safer it is to get places, the more people walk! The more people walk, the healthier they are.
In fact, people who live in areas with higher walk scores:
Have a smaller ecological footprint;
Save money on gas and other car costs; and
Spend more time enjoying their community.
Walking is an easy activity that most people can do to keep their bodies healthy and it is one of the healthiest way to keep yourself warm on chilly days! In fact, you burn nearly the same amount of calories walking a mile as you do running one.
Consider taking a break, strapping on those boots and finding out how walkable your neighborhood is (and your friends’ neighborhood! And the area around your work!)
Need motivation? Grab a pedometer and a few friends and see who can out-walk the other. There are phone and computer programs that can help you track how far you walk in a day. Whatever you do, seize the opportunity to take your first step to better health despite the weather!
Do you know your neighborhood’s walk score? Check out www.walkscore.com to find out and get motivation to keep those boots moving even as fall falls upon us.