Ireland has a hugely car-dependent culture, so much so that we often needlessly use our cars for short hops to the shop or calling to see a friend. Our transport emissions are among the worst in the world as a consequence.
Not only is walking the ultimate carbon and cost-free transport but a brisk 30 minutes walk to work or school each day delivers the recommended two and a half hours of exercise we need each week to stay in good condition and reduce the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Taking the stairs instead of the lift is hugely beneficial too – there’s a reason why StairMasters are so popular in the gym!
Apart from the environmental and health benefits – walking is an increasingly popular social activity in Ireland – with groups of people exploring our beautiful riverbanks, coastlines and countryside by foot and reconnecting with the great outdoors.
We are creatures of habit. Spend a week taking note of how much travelling you do on average by car and by public transport. And also how often you take the lift rather than the stairs.
Then ask yourself how much of this you could supplement with good old fashioned walking? How much could you save on petrol and bus fare? And how much additional exercise would you be getting to benefit your health? The case for walking should be pretty clear.
Make sure you’re prepared, also keep a pair of trainers or walking shoes where you need them – so you’ve no excuse for not walking!