Walking to work is a great way to stay healthy and save money on commuting costs. How can you prepare for walking to work?
Plan Your Route The best route to walk to work may be different from what you prefer for driving. Look for a route that is a block or two off of major roads. Consult your local parks department web site for the location of greenway paths. I also like to skip crossing major streets to avoid the noise and delay. You can map your walk using Google to find, draw, and measure a local walking route.
Predict Your Walking Time For your first walking commute, plan on a pace of 20 minutes per mile. If you have many streets to cross with walking signals, you may want to increase that to 25 minutes per mile. Time your first couple of walks so you can better predict your walking pace.
Wear the Right Shoes and Socks If you will be walking more than ten minutes to your destination it is important to have a comfortable pair of walking shoes. You may need to change to shoes more appropriate for your work environment when you arrive, either by leaving them at work or carrying them with you. Proper fitting shoes that support your feet will prevent foot pain and problems.
Wear the Right Walking Clothes Your walking clothing should allow a proper walking stride. Pants or skirts that restrict your leg motion should be avoided. For walks of more than 20 minutes, you may want to consider wearing proper walking clothing and changing when you get to work.
Carrying Your Stuff Using a backpack or messenger bag will allow you to carry the load while maintaining good walking posture. That can help prevent back ache from walking with poor body alignment. Avoid carrying anything in your hands, which can lead to repetitive strain for your neck, shoulder, elbow or wrist. Lighten the load -- papers and books weigh a lot. Every 5 sheets of paper equals an ounce. Aim for a load of five pounds or less (including the weight of the bag) for the best walking comfort.
Lighten Your Backpack
Be Prepared for Bad Weather Dressing in layers can help you prepare for unexpected heat or cold - remove or add a jacket, microfleece vest, or windbreaker. Be sure to keep public transit phone numbers in your wallet or stored on your phone if you need to use an alternative way home.