Walking is a “magic app” that builds a healthier, safer, more vibrant city. Plus, walking connects us to our communities, puts us in contact with our neighbors, builds social capital and raises civic awareness. Plus, it’s fun.
We’re organizing a campaign to get more Angelenos walking and make L.A. more walkable. If you sign up on our site at losangeleswalks.org, you can join walks and community events around L.A. throughout the year! Get involved with us and start walking!
True enough, there is hardly anything more simple and less exciting than walking. It’s one of our first developmental milestones as babies, and once you take those initial toddling steps, neither you, nor those around you, take much notice of your walking ever again. If you happen to think about walking later in life, images of elderly women decked out in windsuits and circling the mall in the early morning hours may come to mind. Indeed, so unsexy is walking that our word for a person who travels by foot — pedestrian — is also a synonym for “dull” and “ordinary.”
‘Twas not always so, however. There was a time in which writers and philosophers wrote poems and paeans to the humble walk, publishing books and essays with titles such as “The Reveries of the Solitary Walker,” “In Praise of Walking,” and “Walking as a Fine Art.” Bipedal locomotion was referred to as “the manly art of walking,” and enrollment in the “noble army of walkers” was encouraged.
Did these long-dead bipedaling boosters know something that modern men do not? While walking’s simplicity may seem like a mark against it, perhaps its rudimentary nature is just the thing to bring us back to life’s much needed basics. Walking upright is part of what makes us human, after all, and who wouldn’t benefit from getting in touch with their humanity a little more often?
By walking just 30 minutes a day, a person can dramatically reduce their risk of almost every health problem: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer — even depression and Alzheimer’s.
In doing so, we can also slash the $147 billion our nation spends each year in healthcare costs associated with physical inactivity. This reduces the overall demand on our healthcare system and thereby reduces healthcare costs for everyone.
Moreover, by incorporating walking into our daily activities, we can also help solve our environmental and economic problems.
When we think of exercise and logging our Charity Miles, our minds go straight to our daily workouts. But you can have a huge impact by simply walking —whether to run errands, clear your head, or grab a coffee (or three).
Today let’s try to break a record, and walk more than ever before. It’s National Walking Day, after all!
“A recent study from the San Francisco Bay Area found that increasing commuting by walking or cycling from 4 to 22 minutes per person could cut their incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes by 14%.”
Want to encourage healthier eating? Translate calories into walking distance, recent studies say.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to limit sugary drinks is losing juice, but an idea the city has used to convey caloric information about these beverages might actually have legs. Public awareness posters used by the campaign showed the number of miles a person would have to walk to burn off the calories in a 20-ounce soda, and new research suggests that physical activity–based conversions such as these can actually persuade people to make healthier choices.