Walking Is Everywhere
When I talk to friends and new walkers, the number one reason they say they don’t get out and walk is because they don’t know where to go or they don’t have a safe place to walk. Let me let you in on a little secret. You don’t need sidewalks to walk. Yes, they are nice to have, and I even advocate for them. But walking is everywhere. Let me give you some tips to help you get out walking.
Walk Where You Walk
One of the easiest ways to get walking is to get walking where you already walk. For example, if you drive to work, park further away from the front door. If you drive to the grocery or the post office, park in the rear of the parking lot. If you drive your kid to school, park a few blocks away and walk the remainder (which is probably faster than the kiss-n-go lanes anyway!) Or, if you need a little inspiration, read one of these walking books. You’ll be out walking in no time!
The Mall Loves Walkers
For those of us who live in areas where ice or bad weather can inhibit our desire to get out and walk, find a mall to go walking. Many malls actually open earlier than the stores and will allow mall walking. Google “mall walks” in your neighborhood and see if you there’s one nearby. Most of us live within 5-10 miles of a mall. If the mall isn’t open early for the public, make a call to the facilities manager and see if she’d be amenable to opening the mall earlier for you and your walking group.
Find the Track at Your Local School
Local schools often have running tracks open to the public once the school is finished with the track for the day. Grab your bottle of water and head on over. My girlfriend and I used to walk the running track while our kids were at swim practice. Rather than sitting and watching them do lap after lap (boring!), we waited until they were safely ensconced in their coaches’ directions, and we headed to do our own laps. We solved all the worlds’ problems while walking, built a great friendship, and the connections grew deeper and deeper.
Talk to Your Park and Recreation Department
Finally, pull out a map and find the local parks and trails run by your Park and Recreation departments. Often, you can find great maps of how the parks connect, providing you with paths that your Parks teams have found to be safe and visible. While enjoying these treasures, you might find others out walking who are doing the same. Introduce yourself!
How do you walk? What gets you out walking, or what keeps you from walking?