What motivated you to start walking to work?
I was very overweight and didn’t have the time or money to go to the gym or anything, and this was something that I could work into the normal day.
How long have you been doing this?
Since January 2008.
Where do you travel from and to, and what is the approx distance?
Near the Lyndhurst Centre – approximately 2 – 2½ miles.
Do you walk all the time?
I try to walk in every morning, but I’m not a martyr to it and if it’s raining or I’m running late I will get the bus or accept a lift from a friend if they’re passing. I also walk home if it’s not raining and there’s no shopping to carry.
What are the benefits of walking? It helps with fitness as it takes approximately 30 minutes in and a bit longer going home up the hill, and it saves money as it’s £1.50 on the bus. An unexpected bonus is the time it gives just to think – work, home, or nothing at all (headspace)! And you get to know people too as you see the same faces every day.
The odd occasion when I get it wrong with the weather and get soaked!
Footwear – I started off in normal work shoes and my feet were in state so now I wear trainers and leave my shoes at work. I get the odd funny look when I get on the bus in them though. And you need to be careful in icy weather too!
Have you had any funny incidents while walking to or from work?
A canny old man who I see quite a lot on the same route, as he walks every day too, got caught short in the lane behind the fire station. I didn’t realise what he was doing and called hello – won’t describe the rest, but he got a real fright and very wet in the process! That was a few years ago – we still say hello and chat occasionally, and it’s never been mentioned J
Then there was an agoraphobic stuck to the wall like Spiderman who I helped get home……….
What would you say to anyone thinking of walking some or all of the way?
It can be daunting when you first think about it, and you tend to think of reasons/excuses as to why not do it – i.e. it’s too far, it will take too long, I’ll look daft in my trainers, my bag is too heavy etc, but once you’ve done it a couple of times you’ll adapt to what works best for you. Take a while to think it through and plan your route and if you’re worried about time, walk home first for a bit as it will give you some idea as to how long it will take.
Anything else you’d like to add?
There’s nothing to lose by giving it a go – and unless it’s chucking it down, it’s much better than being stuck on a bus!