Walking has several advantages over using public transportation (or cars) and I will show you these to encourage you to walk every day when you can do. Although there are some disadvantages too (which I will also tell you) it’s really worth to integrate walking into your life. So, let’s get started with the positive effects…
You save money
Tickets or monthly/weekly passes are expensive in most cities. Even if you’re working as an employee you can save up a huge amount of money if you walk instead of public transportation. In my country most of the employers pay you the price of the transportation (e.g. the monthly pass), if you travel around a lot in different countries/cities you will have to pay this yourself and it can add up. If you’re aware of your expenses this should be one of the first items to cross and walk instead.
It’s the most important advantage I can tell you about walking. The only thing why I only mention this as the second positive effect because a lot of people think that money is more important to them than everything. I wanted to catch your attention with mentioning money first.
Okay, so why is it healthier? It may seem obvious but when you use public transportation (or a car) you simply don’t move. You are passive and you adapt to this. It will become unnatural for you to take some steps or I could say: you become lazy.
Walking trains your muscles, expand the capacity of your lungs and also has a really good effect on your heart and your overall cardiovascular system. If this would be the only advantage, I would say it worth the “effort”.
You will see more of your destination
One of the most exciting thing about traveling to new places is to explore the neighborhood. Before I go somewhere I take a look at the maps and check if there are parks or any other places that are worth to see. If you go pointless you can also enjoy this advantage of walking.
Just think about it… how much do you see from a location when you are on a really fast moving bus/train/tram? Not too much. But if you’re walking you have the time to inspect everything you want. You even discover the smallest details of buildings, street signs and basically everything around you and this is amazing. I always get excited if I discover new things in my destinations.
What if you’re in your hometown? It’s even better because you may think that you totally know your city. You can’t be more wrong. It’s really wonderful to act as a tourist in your own place because you will see things from a different perspective and you can see new things which you never discovered before.
Let’s face the problem that most of the people live in a really stressful environment today. Most people hate their job, have problems at home and in general, really stressful.
That’s a horrible thing because it may lead into anxiety (hell, wish I had changed on my life sooner), cause health issues. Probably I don’t have to introduce stress to you.
Here comes the good news: you can do against stress. With some walking (even with 20 minutes) you can relieve a lot of stress and you can be calmer. It doesn’t matter if your stress comes from the excitement of traveling to a new place, or your workplace or financial problems… Your brain will “turn off” and you can start enjoying the moment. Discovering new places will forget your everyday problems, while walking will give you the most amazing health effects.
Helping the environment
When you don’t use a smelly bus or a tram, train which uses a lot of power you are helping the environment. In the short run, it doesn’t mean too much because if there are fewer people on the transportation device (e.g. you) the transportation companies will still run that vehicle. In the long run, it can mean a lot because they will revisit their schedule and less vehicle means less pollution (unless it’s an electronic vehicle run by renewable energy).
Get to know your neighborhood
When I relocate to a new place, my first few days always consists of getting around the neighborhood. It’s exciting to get to know your neighborhood (and heck yes, I am an Excited Traveler, and probably you too).
Even if you’re not traveling and you’re in your hometown it’s a wonderful thing to know your region better. While walking you can step into small streets, discover new buildings. Here is a funny story from me: I went to high school by train every day and we get used to it… and one day we saw a new building fairly close to one of the train stops… but this building looked around 30-40 years old (at that moment) but we only realized it’s there after several years of traveling around. We didn’t understand how we couldn’t see it. You will feel the same if you walk around your neighborhood (new neighborhood if you’re currently traveling) and this is one of the coolest thing ever.
Makes you happier
Walking produces a different kind of positive hormones. I don’t want to talk too much about this because I am not an expert in this field but if you’re walking it will make you happy due to the hormones made by your body.
And who don’t want to be happier?
Makes you fit
Walking trains your heart and your muscles. To be honest it’s one of the healthiest “sport” you can do. If you walk regularly you will see the changes on your thigh and your stamina. When I started walking home from my workplace in 2015 (instead of public transportation) I wasn’t able to walk more than a few trams stops. Then time went by and after a few weeks, I was always increasing the length. It was clear that my fitness level was better and better thanks to walking.
Here comes the first disadvantage because I should also tell this to you. It’s much slower to walk than using a comfy, fast bus/train/tram/underground. If you want to go far walking isn’t your best choice. But if you want to get around your neighborhood or you want to relieve stress it’s still the best option you can choose, not to mention the health effects.
Longer periods of walking can be really tiring. You can get exhausted easily if you walk several hours. That’s why I recommend to start with lower distances and then increase it over the time. If you read my short story in the “Makes you fit” section you can see that I also increased the amount of walking slowly. It’s totally normal to feel tired if you don’t have the appropriate fitness level… you will develop stamina over time. 🙂
Walking has several advantages over public transportation and only have two small “disadvantages”. It makes you healthier while you will discover a lot of new places. Walking should be the best medication suggested by doctors because it can solve a lot of problems. It will also make you happier and fit. So integrating walking into your life should be a must.