Improving environment step-by-step

With each step, walking can make a difference, not only for you but for the environment.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), walking is a good way to help people who are inactive become physically active. Walking intensity, duration and frequency are self-determined, and people can tailor their walking patterns to fit their time, needs and abilities. Walking to work or to other activities is an easy way to fit this kind of exercise into your daily routine — and it will save you money, decrease your carbon footprint and improve your health.

Walking instead of driving in a personal vehicle means avoiding the use of gasoline, which costs money and is harmful to the environment. The EPA greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator estimates that every 113 gallons of gasoline is equal to 1 metric ton of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent), which is equivalent to burning 1,107 pounds of coal.

If you’ve been working at home during the pandemic, you may not have the opportunity to walk to work at the moment. But there are still health benefits to finding time for a 15-30-minute walk, even just around your neighborhood or to do errands. The Mayo Clinic says that physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight;
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes;
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles;
  • Improve your mood; and
  • Improve your balance and coordination.

The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits. You can walk more by finding a local shop or restaurant to order from and walk there, use the stairs instead of the elevator or set a goal for 10,000 steps per day. And as folks return to the office, consider walking or using another active transportation method to get to work. The med center has showers available for active commuters to use upon arrival, making it easy to build these multiple benefits right into your day.

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