Walking is an “amazing treatment” that can fight a number of maladies — including heart disease and obesity — according to a news release by Citiwire.net.
OK, so I’m being a bit cheeky.
But the reason that Citiwire is playing up this obvious “news” is that there is a crisis in American walking – at least according to Tom Vanderbilt. He writes that walking has become an “act dwelling in the margins, an almost hidden narrative running beneath the main vehicular text.”
Simply put, Americans don’t like to walk and do like to drive. The urban and suburban environment is built to accommodate automobiles and people who drive them. Further, far too many of us have chosen places to live where walking is made more difficult because there are few destinations within (our ever-shrinking) walking distance.
I walked to work today. This semester I have gotten into the habit of walking on my teaching days largely because I usually only travel between campus and home. And if I do have to go elsewhere, well, I’m totally cool with walking. Downtown is only 20 minutes from my office. I ride my bicycle on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I start my day downtown at the Mudhouse.