I walk to work nearly every day. Unless I need my car to go to somewhere during the day for work, like another YMCA Calgary location, I start my day with a jaunt along Calgary’s sidewalks.
1. Good Exercise
I live about 3.2 km from my office. So, most days, I end up walking just over 6 km. It’s pretty good exercise if I keep to a fairly fast pace.
2. No Traffic Jams or Parking Lots
When I walk to work you don’t have to deal with sitting in a traffic jam, making left turns in the midst of lots of traffic, or driving laps around a parking lot or the block to find a decent parking spot.
Walking to work is free! No cost. It’s great. Not only do I not have to pay for parking (which in downtown Calgary costs an arm and a leg), but I also save money by not having to fill up my car with gas very often.
4. Phone Calls
Walking home from work is a great time to make a phone call to my mom or my grandma or even my best friend who lives in Washington State. I don’t feel like I should be doing something else – like when I’m at home in the evening and can see the dishes piling up in the sink and the overflowing dirty laundry hamper the whole time I talk on the phone.
5. It’s Interesting for the Imagination
I’m a people watcher. I find it very interesting to see how people walk, what they are wearing, and who they are walking with. I like to imagine where they are going and what they will be doing when the get there.
Unlike driving or taking transit in rush hour, walking is a great stress-reliever. It’s great to get up in the morning and have an extra 30 minutes to wake up and slowly plan my day without having to control a ton of metal travelling at high speed. It’s also great to have that 30 minutes to digest what happened at work that day and not have to deal with any of it when I get home. If I’ve left the office with a headache, by the time I get home from my walk, the headache is long gone.
7. Thinking time
When I’m driving I have to pay a lot of attention to a lot of other things. When I walk, I can focus almost completely on my thoughts. I can daydream, I can plan my grocery list, I can get totally lost in my thoughts.
It’s nice to be able to just focus on the music, podcast, or audiobook I’m listening to. Walking on sidewalks is relatively safe and doesn’t require nearly as much of my attention as driving does, so my music, podcast, or audiobook gets it all.
My husband and I get to walk part way to work together every morning. It’s a great way to start our day with a little bit of chitchat. I’ll often meet up with friends at lunch or after work and it’s handy not to have to worry about a car. We can just walk together to wherever we are going.
Walking is often the best way to see your city. You can see so much more than while driving – and you can stop and stare at a building or a park or a piece of public art for as long as you like. I’ve discovered new shops and restaurants, and while walking I can just pop in and check it out.
Sure, sometimes the weather isn’t any fun for walking – like when it’s pouring rain or blizzarding wet snow, or when it’s minus 27 degrees. But even when I have to bundle up, wear boots and carry my nice shoes and fix my hair when I get to the office, I still think the benefits of walking to work still outweigh the occasional cold cheeks or sore feet.
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