Dan’s Tips on Walking to Work

Have you ever considered a relaxing walk to work? Many years ago, our guest blogger Dan did and has been walking ever since. Here are his reasons why, and a few tips on making the trek.

Heidi-Walks-Springfield1

Heidi taking Dan’s advice

Many of us have friends or co-workers who bike to work regularly, but for those of us who are lucky and live close enough, there is another great option. I’ve been walking to work for nearly 7 years (spanning 2 jobs) and absolutely love it. Like cycling, it saves on gas and provides a great way to add physical activity to your day. But, I also find it much more relaxing than having to deal with traffic on your commute. Waiting at intersections and those sudden Oregon downpours are typically as troublesome as commuting gets for a walker, but in my years of walking I’ve learned a few other things about hoofing it to work:

  • Your co-workers may think you walk out of necessity. I once had a teammate who, after 6 months, was shocked to learn that I actually did own a car.
  • Be aware of the shoes you buy. In the past I made the mistake of buying my work shoes based on the combination of looks, comfort and price. What I didn’t take into account was the tread. It only took a couple times of wearing completely through the sole of a pair of shoes in 3 months to cure me of that. I carefully inspected the undersides of shoes the next time I went shopping and found a pair for just a little bit more that lasted over 4 times as long.
  • Good raingear is a must for a walking commuter of course, but as we move towards spring and summer, the days will sneak up on you where it’s too cold in the morning to not wear a jacket, and entirely too warm at the end of the day to wear one. Plan ahead so you don’t end up with every jacket you own hanging in your cubicle.
  • Random cars may pull over and the driver will offer you a ride. On closer inspection, it will turn out to be one of your co-workers. It’s up to you whether to take them up on the offer or decline and leave them feeling awkward for having pulled over for no reason.
  • If the winter deigns to drop snowstorms on us; you will casually walk to work just like normal (if wearing a few extra layers). Do watch out for ice – falling on your butt isn’t fun (not that I would know, or anything…) and remember that in icy conditions cars that are intending to stop may not always succeed.

If you live within a mile or two of your workplace, I definitely recommend giving walking a try, especially with the nice weather and long daylight hours during the spring and summer. If walking both ways sounds like a bit much, you could walk one direction and find someone to carpool with for the other. Whatever method you choose, happy commuting!

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