World Car Free Day takes place on September 22nd and is a banner event in the calendar of any community – a wonderful opportunity to promote the benefits of healthy living through regular walking and the knock-on benefits to the neighbourhood, the environment, and the world at large. World Car Free Day has been celebrated in hundreds of cities and focuses on encouraging citizens to learn the lay of the land in their area, connect with the locality, and imagine the positive change of a world where walking, rather than driving, was the primary way of getting around.
The benefits of incorporating walking into your lifestyle are many and in an increasingly stationery society, with so many of us spending 8 or more hours sitting in front of a computer, it’s essential to actively include walking in your daily routine to avail of the same boons to our health that our ancestors have for generations.
Some of the key advantages of a committed walking lifestyle include:
Walking not only keeps you fit and trim but it costs nothing. If you’re lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance of work, or any of your regular destinations, you can cut out the expenses of driving for all but the most urgent trips. Even if you have further to travel, walking for part of your journey will put extra money every day which will quickly add up to a tidy saving.
Keeps You Fit
Walking is not going to turn you into a bodybuilder or make you run faster than the wind but regular walking helps strengthen your joints, reduces the risk of arthritis, improves your muscle definition and can encourage any excess weight to stay off your waist. It also improves your lung capacity and stamina improving your energy levels throughout the rest of the day.
Walking can lead to a longer life. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly, particularly office workers who include even 45 minutes of brisk walking into their day, are up to 45% less likely to suffer health problems in their 50's and 60's than their sedentary peers.
Improves Your Mood
Even without the positive mental effects that come from the changes walking can bring to your life, walking directly improves your mood by releasing endorphins (natural painkillers) into your blood stream.
Gives You Breathing Space
It gives you a chance to think. Walking is a tremendous opportunity each day to prepare for the morning rush or decompress from a hard day’s work. The 45 minutes you’re out and about on your feet could make all the difference to your day in allowing you to think through any pressing issues, process events, come up with new solutions or simply get some time for yourself away from the hustle and bustle of home or the office.
All in all, walking can bring a host of small but meaningful improvements to a wide range of activities in your life – and the equipment you need is right there already! Give it a try for World Car Free Day on September 22nd and see what changes hitting the pavement can bring you.