Save the Planet AND Lose Weight

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Self Portrait Tuesday 11-20-07 from FlickrWendy Bumgardner has an entry on how to save the planet by walking:

She has many recommendations, most of which seem like they were added to pad the list. The most important one she talked about, however was walking instead of driving.

I’m a big fan of this one, but it takes some planning to pull it off.

Wendy recommends that you can replace your workout with one 3 mile walk. That’s a 1.5 mile walk to wherever you’re going and a 1.5 mile back. The first step is to look at your house on Mapquest:

Adjust the zoom level until you’re at the zoom level where the legend is 800 m and 2400 ft. That’s a good zoom for you to work with.

Print up that map. A mile and a half is 7920 feet, so using the legend on the printed map, draw a circle that is 3 miles in diameter around your house like this. I used the old house I grew up in as an example:

Create a walking map from Flickr

After you have your circle drawn, find out what is within that 1.5 mile radius. It’s difficult to tell what is there from just the map, so this will take some planning and thought. There are a couple of parks I could walk to, the grocery store on 4000 West and the Home Depot on 5600 West.

Make a list of everything that is within that circle. Any time you need to go to anything within the circle, walk instead of driving.

You can do the same thing around your place of employment. You can achieve a 3.0 mile walk within an hour, but only if you walk quickly and don’t spend a lot of time at your destination. Next time you need to run an errand at your lunch break, see if the destination is within your circle. If it is, get in a workout AND save gasoline.

When I lived on White Cherry Way, I was a kid. I didn’t have a choice. My only choices were walking or riding my bike if I wanted to go somewhere. I knew all the places that I could easily get to, which wasn’t very many in the suburbs. Now that I live downtown, I have hundreds of places within my 1.5 mile radius. The funny thing is, when I drew the circle around my current house, I realized that there are a bunch of places that I could walk to that I never go to because they are west of my home. It opened up at least twenty more options for me by just printing out the map and drawing the circle.

Just replacing one errand a day by walking instead of driving can not only help you save money on gas but make you healthier. Print up a map of your neighborhood and do it today!


One Response to “Save the Planet AND Lose Weight”

  1. Carol Says:

    I know this isn’t a new post, but I wanted to mention this anyway: living in a rural area, I am going t check the address where I turn around on my walk today. Then, when I get home, I’ll find out using MapQuest how far it is from my house, and multiply x 2 to get distance walked.

    Thank you for sparking this idea! I have made your blog my homepage, so it will motivate me…

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