By Doug Norsby, Air Quality Planner III
The trees are changing colors and the last few days of beautiful fall weather are upon us. Take this opportunity to get out and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature before the warm glow of sunlight is replaced with the white snow and cold winter days.
As you breathe in the cool fall air, take a moment to congratulate yourself on everything you’ve done this year to help protect our air quality. By walking instead of driving, you’re doing your part to keep the air — and yourself — healthier.
Consider these tips before you step out:
- Trade a trip. Try walking instead of driving to destinations near home such as school, church or the park. At work, try walking to lunch or a nearby business meeting.
- Choose your shoes. Running, cross-training or walking shoes? What are the differences and how do you choose the right ones? When should you replace shoes? When is the best time to test the fit of a new shoe? The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society has answers to all of these questions! A good fit is a critical part of enjoying your walk.
- Find a friend. Take your dog for a walk or explore a nearby trailwith your kids. You can also join a walking group to meet new people.
- Prep for progress. Walking can be a very simple and satisfying activity, but it can also be fun to take along a pedometer or smart phone app to achieve daily walking goals or possibly track weight loss. Other items may also make sense when preparing for your walk: an umbrella or light jacket will be indispensable for gray days, a small, collapsible bag can be very handy for toting small items or groceries, and reflective gear or lights are an important safety addition.