Do what to work? Walk? Am I mad? Maybe I am mad but thin. There are plenty of people who will tell you that you should walk to work and they’re all armed with excellent, ecologically sound and a little holier than thou reasons. You’ll save money, the planet and you’ll get fit along the way. You’ll also get wet and cold from time to time. So you should you really ditch your car and walk to work and is there any truth in these random claims?
5 Amazing Reasons You should Walk to Work
1. One or Two Small Steps
You won’t actually save the planet by walking to work, even if you do wear your underwear on top of your normal clothing. However, every little helps and your walk to work is one – or several hundred – small steps for man/womankind. It all adds to great leap forward for the rest of us. The environmental benefit is a bit of a no-brainer, when you aren’t pumping out those exhaust emissions, you’ll be doing your bit.
2. Fuel Savings; It’s Not Rocket Science
Fuel savings; again, you don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to figure this one out. The less you use the car and walk to work the less you’ll spend on fuel. There are some additional savings hidden away in this one. City driving is mostly the stop-start kind which increases fuel consumption and decreases your bank balance. Additionally you can actually lower, yes, lower, your car insurance premium by not using the car for commuting. In the insurance company’s eyes, or at least their statistical analysis, a car that is not used for commuting is at less risk of being in an accident.
Car insurance, fuel and road tax; walking to work can help you to save on at least two of these, and as they say, two out of three ain’t bad.
3. Timely Arrivals
Allegedly you won’t risk being late for work. My own experience doesn’t entirely bear this out. In the past I’ve always walked to work. I was never later to work than when I lived five minutes walk away from work. That last minute coffee that I never had time for, always managed to persuade me that I did have time for it. That interesting antique shop that was never open would miraculously be open ridiculously early. Yes, traffic contains jams, but sometimes walking contains distractions. Now that I work from home and the commute involves the upstairs landing I’m never at my desk on time. If you’re strict, however, and time your route and stick to it, you can reduce the incidence of final warnings for lateness.
4. Personal Matters
Now I’m going to get personal. What is the truth behind walking to work being so healthy? Although I no longer walk to work, most days, I do walk every day. I walk around four to five miles a day on average, and nine miles on two days a week. I’m no gym bunny but my waist is the same as it was when I was eighteen. My gym bunny friends, on the other hand, are all losing the battle with middle-aged spread. I’ve also noticed when out walking with said gym bunnies that they tend to collapse in a heap at the end of the day. I’d happily keep on going. Walking is recommended as a good moderate level exercise; it’s good for your heart and keeps the weight off. Despite my sedentary job and my ability to consume twice my own body weight in office biscuits, walking seems to do the trick. The results don’t come all at once, but keep it up and you’ll be surprised at how fit you can get with a simple commute.
5. Getting Cold and Wet Costs Nothing
Walking to work, even in major cities, is not yet subject to a congestion charge. It probably will be one day, but for now it’s free. Even if you are a good commuter and don’t take the car and rely on public transport, you can still consider getting off a few stops early and taking advantage of the free and incredibly healthy benefits of walking. You will get wet and possibly cold. Cold can be staved off by walking briskly, even better for your health, and waterproof clothing is very effective at avoiding getting wet. Most people who regularly walk to work will actually tell you that the number of times that they get wet is surprisingly few, even here in good old cool and wet Britannia.
How do you get to work – do you walk to work, take a bus or drive by car? Let us know in the comment below.
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Picture: the half-blood prince