Prevention Magazine has listed their choices for the top walking cities in the U.S.
Portland, OR ranked as #1.
St. Louis, MO (my fair city) ranked #60.
Good thing I don't pay any attention to such articles! LOL!
Their poll focused on Podiatrists who weighed in on the number of patients who walked the most. Portland is no surprise. The weather is agreeable most of the time - neither too hot nor too cold and I believe they have a fairly good mass transit system.
St. Louis has weather that is too hot or too cold - really! And, our mass transit system which would encourage many to walk at least to their transit stops and from one stop to another is almost nonexistent. Further, the local transit system is being cut back! We are forced to rely on individual automobiles to get to and from work and to run most errands and family business. This is unfortunate, to say the least.
Now, back to the poll. Podiatrists??? Of course, the more people who walk, the more will seek the expertise of so-called walking specialists - for foot care and shoe selection. I've discussed those items with my podiatrist while he was removing a very painful corn from my right foot. I was assured the corn wouldn't return if I wore the proper shoe. He recommended New Balance or Merrell. Ya'll know I wear NB shoes. Love 'em. They're worth every cent. However, I'm going to try a pair of Merrell's too.
So, what other factors go into make a city 'walkable'? Safe paths, good weather, respect for pedestrians, parks, transit opportunities.
What factors deter us from walking? Oh, so many things! Let's begin with school buses which teach our kids that walking is dangerous and inconvenient. Don't get me started on the subject of school budgets and busing! Other deterrents in the environment - weather has to be the greatest deterrent. Unsafe neighborhoods. Dogs off leashes. Hills. No sidewalks. Lack of walking trails and/or parks. Easy to pick out some of these factors. But, the NUMBER ONE deterrent is our own laziness and failure to make our health a priority.
So, wherever you live, you can find a place to walk. At the mall, at a local track, at the gym, in my living room. I'll walk almost anywhere. Just let me get my shoes on........
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.
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