Most days I walk to work, in my case a yoga studio. Round trip, its ~3 miles. I don’t speed walk or carry hand weights or pump my arms. I simply walk. It’s one of the big ways that I stack my life around movement. Here is why you might consider walking to work.
Walking to work doesn’t require you to add gasoline or miles to your car and for that trip, your car-bon footprint is nil.
Walking to work can be your workout for the day, which means you won’t have to set aside time later to exercise. If you want to add more movement, plan to add some errands to your walk. Yesterday, I dropped off some items at the postoffice and then added an additional 2 miles to pick up something from the fabric shop.
If you pass by your favorite coffee shop, you can go inside and maybe run into a friend or have social time with the barristas. Whenever I do, Here Comes a Regular, by the band The Replacements plays in my head and I leave feeling happy and connected.
When you walk to work, you interact with neighbors and strangers, who are out mowing lawns, getting the paper, or walking their dogs. You begin to grow your extended community.
When you walk to work, people notice and it plants a seed. The fact that I walk to work has not been lost on my students or other yoga teachers. I regularly hear from people I know, “hey, was that you I saw walking down Yakima Ave.?” You never know, when or where those seeds will grow.
Speaking seeds growing, when you walk to work you really get to enjoy your neighbors’ gardens and how they change with the seasons. And, if you are stealth, you can graze on berries or plunder small starts for your own garden. Or, better yet, just ask. I find most people are happy to share their garden bounties.
I often listen to podcasts, while walking, from smart movement and somatic thinkers. These are three of my favorites: Liberated Body, Yoga & Beyond, and Katy Says. Listening to an educational podcast, while walking to work or walking to do errands is great way to stack your life around movement.
Walking to work replaces sitting in a vehicle with moving your body. One hour of exercise at the beginning, middle, or end of your day cannot not undo the harm done by too much sitting. Sitting in car, sitting at work, sitting for meals, sitting on the couch, sitting at your home computer. In fact, a cardiovascular expert from a consensus panel of the American Heart Association says “Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels.” I recently wrote an article that details other ways that you can replace sedentary with movement.
My wife and I often join each other on our respective walks to work. This stacks movement around family time.
I remove my shoes for sections of my walk to work, which is part of my foot health protocol. Barefooting is ultimately the best way you can improve strength, mobility, and health of your feet.
If you come up with other benefits of walking to work, please drop me a line.