Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Step (or Pedal) in the Right Direction!

Good news! Americans are slowly but surely getting MORE mobile. Research studies utilizing national household travel surveys from the last decade reveal that we walked on average 9 miles more than we did back in 2001. We also biked about 5 miles more. I'm pleased to see that 8% are walking 30 minutes per day- that's my "magic number" for daily exercise, because 30 minutes of getting your heart rate up each day will give your heart, brain and body a boost. In fact, 30 minutes of daily exercise helps improve your mood as much as a low dose of an antidepressant!

I find it interesting that 75% of walking trips and 50% of biking trips in 2009 were purely a mode of transportation (to the store, school, see friends, etc.) rather than for the pleasure or intent of exercise. The wonderful part is that you get the same benefits of exercise, regardless of your intent when you are in motion. With gas prices going up through the roof, I hope we will see a continued trend that bicycling will be used in place of cars for short travel distances.

Why not take a step in the right direction and make a commitment to walk or bike to at least one nearby destination instead of driving? Perhaps your family could walk to a neighborhood yogurt shop or diner, or you could bike to the grocery store for those one or two forgotten items.

BOTTOM LINE: Congrats, America, we're starting to move MORE- keep it up! And please...WEAR HELMETS & visible clothing!

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