Having multiple forms of transportation improves how people navigate the world. When people are provided with mobility options they will more likely leave behind a car. It turns out that not only is that good for people it’s also good for the finances of cities. If you’re sick of high taxes then start electing politicians that want to get rid of monolithic car culture.
Investing in walkable cities, whether through allocating funds to repaint pedestrian walkways or building affordable housing close to downtowns, also attracts diverse populations and creates jobs. According to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, 63 percent of millennials and 42 percent of boomers would like to live in a place where they don’t need a car. And according to the National Association of Realtors, 62 percent of millennials prefer to live in a walkable community where a car is optional. If cities seem less automobile-dependent, chances are they are more appealing to a range of ages.
Walking also costs the city very little, unlike cars and even public transit. According to Speck’s book, if a resident takes a bus ride, it may cost them $1 but costs the city $1.50 in bus operation. If a resident decides to drive, it costs the city $9.20 in services like policing and ambulances. When a resident walks, the cost to the city is a penny.
Do you find it hard to fit the gym into your schedule and you just can’t seem to find any time to workout? Don’t worry about it! Instead of stressing about getting to the gym just change up your daily routine. One of the easiest things you can do to improve your fitness level is to stop driving a car and take any other form of transportation; and even if you don’t have a car then you can still change your day up. As long as you prioritize walking on a daily basis your fitness (and happiness) levels will increase!
The first beneficial thing about many of these alternative modes of getting around is that they involve physically moving your body parts. Yes, even taking the bus or the subway involves walking, standing, and balancing (using proprioception) that we don’t use when we are sitting on our butts in a car seat. Even using one of the car share programs involves walking to the parking spot where the car is kept and then walking home again after you drop the car off.
The second beneficial thing with these carless alternatives is that they have many deep health benefits like lowering stress levels, raising your mood, and perhaps even helping you get better sleep. But more on that later.
Worried you’re not getting enough exercise throughout your day? If you don’t think you’re moving around enough then this will be good news for you: every step you take counts to a longer life. A new study has found that it’s how much walking (or movement) you do during the day matters a lot towards longevity. The kind of physical activity you’re doing doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re doing something – even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of the escalator.
“Everything counts,” said William Kraus, a cardiologist at North Carolina’s Duke University School of Medicine and senior author of a new study published last week in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The epidemiological study looked at the relative benefits of “bouted” versus sporadic moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on the mortality of 4,840 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003-06.
“Does it matter whether that total physical activity was in bouts or not bouts?” Kraus said. “And we found out it didn’t matter whether it was in bouts or not bouts. It’s the total physical activity that matters.”
Anybody who lives in a city knows that walkability of neighbourhoods is a key reason they live where they do. The attraction to mobility options, safe places, cultural and economic diversity is what keeps cities growing. Walkable spaces makes all of that happen and more!
What smoking was to the 20th century car driving is to the 21st, and people are starting to realize we need to kick the car addiction. Car culture kills people through increased obesity, awful urban planning, and pollution (not to mention collisions). Over at Fast Co. Exist they put together a list of 50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets.
“The benefits of walkability are all interconnected,” says James Francisco, an urban designer and planner at Arup, the global engineering firm that created the report. “Maybe you want your local business to be enhanced by more foot traffic. But by having that benefit, other benefits are integrated. Not only do you get the economic vitality, but you get the social benefits—so people are out and having conversations and connecting—and then you get the health benefits.” A single intervention can also lead to environmental and political benefits.
Here’s numbers 25 & 26 from the list:
25. It shrinks the cost of traffic congestion
The more people walk and the fewer people are stuck in traffic on roads, the more that benefits the economy. In the Bay Area, for example, businesses lose $2 billion a year because employees are stuck in gridlock.
26. It saves money on construction and maintenance
While building and maintaining roads is expensive—the U.S. needs an estimated $3.6 trillion by 2020 to repair existing infrastructure—sidewalks are more affordable. Investing in sidewalks also brings health and air quality benefits worth twice as much as the cost of construction.
Read all 50.
Exercise is good for you and nature is good for you too, so it’s only logical that combining both of them is really good for you. Over at CSGlobe they have an article that explore many of the ways that our lives can be improved by a simple walk in the woods. They outline the scientific research that proves that exposure to nature while doing moderate exercise can make you happier and more relaxed.
We already know that exercising is fantastic for our overall well-being. Hiking is an excellent way to burn between 400 – 700 calories per hour, depending on your size and the hike difficulty, and it is easier on the joints than other activities like running.
It has also been proven that people who exercise outside are more likely to keep at it and stick to their programs, making hiking an excellent choice for those wishing to become more active on a regular basis.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume — the part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory — in women over the age of 70. Such exercise not only improves memory loss, but helps prevent it as well.