I was walking to work this morning. It was a fresh clear morning, the sun was coming up and the birds singing. It was a bit breezy, but otherwise a pretty nice start to the day! Soon, as I made my way along the road towards work, Runkeeper announced the second mile and I heard a ‘beep’ as someone I knew drove past on their way to the same destination. Waves and ‘good morning’ nods were exchanged as they drove past. People know not to stop and offer me a lift anymore, as in the past I have thanked them for the offer but explained that walking to work and walking/running home was part of my exercise routine.
Towards the end of my journey, as I approached the steps to take me over the dock bridge, I pondered why people, who worry about their weight and/or fitness, drive to work when they could easily walk. I walk to work out of choice because it’s free exercise and it helps keep me fit! I tried the gym years ago, but the only pounds I seemed to loose were £’s and I quickly got board. I purposely don’t own a second car so I don’t get tempted to cheat (it also helps me feel like I’m doing my bit for the environment).
I much prefer to walk/run or cycle to work and back, why? As I said, not only is it free exercise, it gets you out in the fresh air, helps clear your head (especially after a hard day at work), gives you a buzz and the feeling that you’ve done ‘something’ fitness related without really going out of your way. I mean, you have to go to work anyway, right? So you’re in affect killing two birds with one stone.
Of course the downside is that it takes longer, in some cases. My walk is a shade under three miles and it takes me about 40 – 45 minutes each way. Running isn’t normally that much quicker because I normally take a longer route to bump up the miles, but running the same route takes me about 15-20 minutes. Cycling can take about ten minutes, depending on wind and road conditions, but again I like to take a longer scenic route along the coast, if time allows. I’ve also noticed that cycling is not much slower than driving, once you take into account that you don’t get as suck in traffic jams as much and you can cycle pretty up to the office door (in my case) rather than parking in a car park and then walking the final stretch to your desk.
Now, we all live busy lives and some people can’t afford the extra time it takes to get to work under your own steam. For example, the dash from dropping the kids at school to getting into work on time. Others live way to far away from work for it to be practical although, I do know some people to cycle 8+ miles each way to work every day! Rain or shine!
But keep in mind that if you are in the position where you could simply get up a little earier and walk into work and/or walk home again, then give it a go. You’ll feel good for it, especially once your fitness levels increase.
If you commute to work on the bus/train/tube, if feasible, get off a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way.
Oh, and the old ‘its raining’ excuse. Get yourself some waterproof trousers and jacket. Personally I enjoy walking in the rain, its only water!
Give it a go, what have you got to loose? It might not be your thing, but at least try it.