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Why walking is good for me (and you, too.)

Nothing beats walking.

Why don't I take long walks everyday?  

When I walk, I'm, like, human. 

Not attached to the computer.  More myself.

Wind in my face.  Thoughts falling into place, as each step hits the ground.

So natural. So easy.

Biking takes gear.  Driving takes gas.

Walking takes nothing more than a modicum of good health and a decision to do it.

But excuses like, "not enough time," "car's right there," and "Uh, I don't feel like it," can get in the way.

As I was approaching forty, my doctor told me the only thing "to do about aging" was to keep moving.  Nothing to do about aches and pains except walk, run, swim, ride.

Walking takes little more than the decision to resist the seduction of sitting on one's ass and being motored around.

Walking makes you healthier.  According to the Mayo Clinic, it shrinks your waistline and improves your mood. Studies show that walking makes you live longer.  Is three extra years of life enough to get you to ditch your car? 

Works for me.  Three extra years. I'll spend them walking.

Extra bonus shout out for walking:

I'd like to salute the International Charter for Walking, recently signed by the City of Vancouver on the eve of the Walk21 conference in Vancouver.  A product of Walk21, the Charter contains eight principles that experts have agreed will create a better place to live:
  1. Increased inclusive mobility
  2. Well designed and managed spaces and places for people
  3. Improved integration of networks
  4. Supportive land-use and spatial planning
  5. Reduced road danger
  6. Less crime and fear of crime
  7. More supportive authorities
  8. A culture of walking

Today, as my son rode his scooter, endlessly talking about everything around us, I wondered how I could have let so much time pass before I insisted we resume walking to school.

We passed a squirrel on a telephone pole, a "senior" dog with crippled legs and wheels strapped to his backside to help him get around.  I watched my son jump his scooter over speed humps.

I felt so joyful.  It was so simple.

All I had to do was put one foot in front of the other.

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