Everyone has heard about the health benefits from walking regularly; from reducing the risk of strokes, lowering blood pressure, increasing bone density and circulation, enhancing mental well-being, improving balance and co-ordination to helping control body weight walking is a low-tech low cost way to stay mentally and physically fit. But did you know in addition to the health benefits, a recent study from Stanford University in April of this year found that walking also boosts creativity! (Stanford Report, April 24, 2014)
“Many people anecdotally claim they do their best thinking when walking. We finally may be taking a step, or two, toward discovering why,” Oppezzo and Schwartz wrote in the study published in April 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.
For more information of the health benefits of walking check out this website from the Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261
Walking in Popkum, circa 1907 (Chilliwack Museum and Archives)
Leaving the car parked at home and using our feet for transportation has a positive impact on our environment as well, with less fuel consumed we are saving money and reducing the amount of fumes we spew into our airspace. Think about this the next time you grab the car keys for a trip to pick-up milk, or the kids from school. With a bit of planning, walking can become part of your daily activity offering a healthier transportation option, an opportunity to connect with neighbours and meet new people along the way.
If you have been house hunting lately, you may be familiar with a “walkability” score when viewing real estate listings. This fairly new method of rating neighbourhoods based on their walkability is the brainchild of a privately owned company called Walk Score. In 2007 the Seattle based company developed a system that uses computer algorithms to determine how walkable a particular area of any city is. Just type an address into their website search engine and up pops a score (see the chart, courtesy of Walk Score). Some realtors are using this technology to market properties for sale; promoting walkability as a selling feature as society moves toward being less car dependent and more physically active. Here is walk score’s website: http://www.walkscore.com/
Daily errands do not require a car.
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
Most errands require a car.
Almost all errands require a car.
I typed in the address of the Royal Hotel (45886 Wellington Ave) in downtown Chilliwack and out popped the walk score of 97! This rating (see the chart) classifies the Royal Hotel as being a walkers paradise. From our central location you can easily walk to an assortment of retail shops, restaurants, medical offices, parks, schools, the post office, the hospital, the court house, Chilliwack Cultural Centre and Prospera Arena.
Planning a trip to Chilliwack? Remember the Royal Hotel in downtown Chilliwack offers quaint, impeccably clean guest rooms in a heritage setting located in the very walkable historic downtown core.
Walking on Mill Street through the snow (Chilliwack Museum and Archives)