Today, I decided to walk to my local coffee shop instead of driving. I walk or take the bus almost everywhere I possibly can. Notable exceptions are the grocery store, shopping centers, and my parents’ house, which are all too far. Until now, I have always driven to the coffee shop because I thought it seemed a bit far away. It’s definitely out of the standard urban planning quarter mile radius, where people choose to walk because they would feel stupid if they drove. It’s also out of my half mile “quick walk” radius, but as it turns out, if I walk through campus it’s about 0.75 mi. from my front door to the coffee shop and only takes around 20 minutes. It would likely take ten minutes if I drove, by the time I found a parking spot on our beloved Ninth St.
According to Neil Fiore, one should aim to exercise or play for an hour each day. Walking to get coffee seems like a nice way to get outside on days when I’m not going to the gym.
As a culture, we have developed some kind of subconscious aversion to practical walking. We will go out of our way to walk on treadmills and greenways, yet we rarely make walking part of our daily routine. Why not get things done, avoid the traffic at lunch, and have a healthy, relaxing walk all at the same time instead of hitting the track after work?