One of our first major accomplishments in life is learning how to walk. That moment when you are crawling on all fours, then finally decide to propel yourself upwards on wobbling knees — knees that still haven’t adjusted to the weight of your body. As you try to gain your balance, or as much balance as a baby could have, you take one staggered step with your right foot, then your left, then your right, and before you know it, you are walking! Or at least, staggering around the place.

Nowadays, I feel like many of us have forgotten the beauty of walking, myself included. I can barely find the strength or desire to walk all the way from Vedder to the Observatory for 9am class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Can you blame me though? But, in all honesty, what’s a ten minute walk? We have become so dependent on other means of transportation, like cars, shuttle buses, taxis, and so on, that it has trapped us in a lazy, inactive mindset. So, my proposal to change the world is to go take a walk… on the wild side?

According to the Mayo Clinic, walking is such a simple actvity, yet has so many underlying health benefits. Obesity has become a defining characteristic of America among youth and adults, and I think that it has a lot to do with the lazy mindset I was talking about. If we stressed the health benefits of something as simple as walking, it would be a great start to changing our mindsets. Walking is a great way to lower “bad” cholesterol, while raising your “good” cholesterol. It is also beneficial for lowering blood pressure, maintaining your weight, and even improving your mood! Additionally, walking is a low-impact type of workout, so you don’t have to worry about exacerbating your joints and muscles.

And there’s even more benefits! The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit company that works to create hiking trails from former rail lines, has found that if Americans decided to walk (or bike) 13% of their trips that were 3 miles or less, we could remove around 9 million tons of carbon dioxide from America’s air each year. (Think of how much more flatulence cows can release!) Therefore, not only would walking improve our personal lives, but it can potentially improve the quality of living for future generations to come. So get out of your car, and walk this way!

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5 responses »

  1. Kate says:

    I think this is a great idea! Walking is not only healthy for you, but it also helps the environment. Last semester, I walked everywhere and felt that I would have missed out on so many experiences if I took public transportation because cars/buses do not fit in the little European side streets that have shops and restaurants. After being back at Bucknell, I am now in the “lazy” mindset. Many of us drive across campus due to the convenience, (especially in the rainy weather), but I still don’t understand why people still drive on sunny days.

    I just did Relay for Life yesterday and could not tell you how many laps I walked because I lost count. It felt absolutely wonderful. As Connie mentioned, we should set positive examples for future generations and teach them the wonderful benefits of walking!

    • Connie says:

      Ah yes, I think I should have also taken into consideration geographic location when writing this post! In my town, I can walk to a few parks or some of my friends’ houses, but for the most part, I’d have to drive to get anywhere substantial, like to a mall, restaurant, or grocery store. Now, in New York City, or in Europe, walking just makes more sense. Like you said, there are just so many experiences, like a tiny local shop or cafe, that you would miss traveling via car! I know of numerous little hot spots in the city that I never would have found if I was zooming down the streets in a car. Nevertheless, while I understand that there are some limitations for some, if we followed the Rails-to-Trails mindset of walking to our destinations that are within three miles of us, it could really make a difference for us and the environment!

  2. scoutberger says:

    Walking is severely underrated. Not only does it improve your health but it is also highly enjoyable. On a beautiful spring day at Bucknell there is nothing I enjoy more than walking to and from classes and enjoying the scenery around me. That being said, I have to admit that I guilty of being incredibly lazy at times. When I have an 8am class in the winter the thought of walking uphill is quite ominous and I immediately jump in the car. During the cold weather I think this is somewhat understandable but I sometimes I feel silly when I drive to the bison on a day where it is 65 degrees and sunny. This semester I have made it a point of trying to walk almost everywhere (within a reasonable distance of course). Not only do I feel healthier but I also am happier. When I walk to class my thoughts tend to wander and it is an extra 20 minutes each day that to myself that I feel like I would have spent on something stupid like my phone or the internet.

  3. Alex Lin says:

    This is a great point Connie. The worst is when I drive to the gym… It’s the stupidest thing.

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