Sounds easy, so what are the options to get your groove on ?
- A gym membership – this can be EXPENSIVE and can be time consuming
- Hiding the remote, so you have to get off the couch to change the TV station – this is not moving enough, it is still classified as couch living
- Walking more……….
Walk your way to health
It is FREE, you’re moving enough and it can be built into your normal routine. You’re going to the bank, the coffee shop, the school……… walking can get you there.
Mmmm…. can you walk there ?
The walkability index
Not all neighbourshoods are designed for WALKIES.
This is the finding of a group of researchers from the Centre for Research on Inner City Health, based in Canada. The team discovered Torontonians living in neighbourhoods that aren’t conducive to walking……….. don’t walk.
And not walking, impacts their health – negatively.
The odds that someone was diabetic, was 33 % higher, in neighbourhoods with a low walkability index.
We’re living in….
Car only neighbourhoods
Neighbourhoods that have nowhere to walk too. To get ANYWHERE useful, you have to get in the car and take a drive.
The situation is most likely to arise, when population density is low…………you’re living in the suburbs. In this case, the low walkability is a small price to pay for the big house, lots of trees and less pollution .
But, low walkability also happens in high density neighbourhoods.
This happens when the nearest
- hair dresser
- coffee shop
is located in the mall. And the mall is located three suburbs away, at the junction of the offramp of a three lane highway.
Windy windy roads
Low walkability can also be a product of how the neighbourhood is designed.
The traditional grid design, ensures a high level of connectivity between the streets. Not terribly attractive, but practical. But, modern suburbs tend to have few roads and even fewer intersections. A single road, flip flops around the suburb – aesthetically appealing, but hard going if you have to get somewhere without wheels.
Maybe a uniquely South African problem – we’re living in “walled” off suburbs, this arrangement, leaves whole neighbourhoods with one point of entry/exit. Great for security, but a walkability disaster.
The tale of two neighbourhoods
The neighbourhood I grew up was walkable and all these years later, it is still walkable. It would be considered suburbia, but the uncool version.
My current address is a thoroughly modern, dare I say, a cool suburb. The population density is high, it is neatly positioned along two of the busiest highways in the country, so everything is accessible, but everything is miles away.
Did a quick recon….
- Nearest hair dresser, bank, coffee shop is a 12 minute car ride north, 15 minutes if all the traffic lights are against you
- Nearest gym is a 14 minute car ride in the opposite direction
- I have no idea where the nearest park is, don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few green spaces, but they are not accessible to me i.e. they not in my gated community.
I could take a 10 – 15 minute walk, to get some groceries. I could, but I have never done so. The reason, the items are twice the price. I am related to Scrooge – if I am going to give up half an hour of my time to go grocery shopping, I would much rather go somewhere where I can do multiple things and pay less.
I love my mall.
Just walk more
It’s easy to say…. not so easy to do, if you’re living in the “wrong” neighbourhood, walking might not be practical.
Of course a wise teacher once told me….
You can’t blame your circumstances for your failures,
you have to succeed despite them.
|Your car is making you fat||A short walk flattens that irresistible NEED for chocolate||Don’t let your sugar molecules become couch potatoes|
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind those extra fat layers ?
Subscribe to E-spoons, to get e-mail updates once a month to learn how to keep your body chemistry balanced so you can burn off the extra fat.
NOTE : Privacy & spam policy. Spoonful of Science will not rent, trade or sell the e-mail list to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link.