Walking for health reasons has had tons of publicity over the years. We’ve all heard the health benefits but I’m going to reiterate them here one more time:
- Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol)
- Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol)
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
- Manage your weight
- Improve your mood
- Stay strong and fit
As a Travel Nurse, our routines are generally disrupted by the many factors that come with travel nursing. I say that it’s time to take advantage of the new location and get out.
I can’t think of a better way to experience your new neighborhood than taking a walk around it. You will see so much more walking than you will driving or even taking the public transit. Besides the health benefits that walking offers, you will be more likely to chat with neighbors, introduce yourself to the locals and just simply engage with others.
My first rule….put your cell phone on silent and put it away. Don’t worry about where you’re going. If you get lost…all the better! Getting lost isn’t always a bad thing. If you have to ask someone to direct you back to your location, it’s just another connection made. You might be surprised what you find when you simply wander and take in all that’s around you.
I’ve taken this approach on many of my international trips and it’s always been a delight. Well…except once in Italy when I got misplaced nearing dark in a shady neighborhood. Even then, it provided me with a great experience. I was able to find a cab quickly to get me back to where I needed to be and had a great story to tell from the experience.
There are some great tools and organizations out there to help get you walking:
- Walk-Score (find out what’s in your neighborhood)
- Meet-up (search walking groups)
- City Walking tours (nearly every city has them)
- Fitness walking groups
- Fundraising walks
I encourage you all to get out and walk. If you have a recommendation for a walking group or activity that you would like to share, please post it in the comments.