Why Walk? Why Walkable Communities?
Walking is good for the heart, lungs, blood, muscles, bones and joints, brain, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system. Walking reduces stress, improves mood, and builds self-confidence and sense of empowerment. Walking can be a time to mentally organize or unwind, or to find refuge and balance.
Walking is pleasurable, when the conditions are right. People often like to take vacations in places where they can walk, such as the beach, the mountains, and the old cities of Europe and Latin America.
Walking can meet our needs for regular exercise. People need moderate exercise for about 30 minutes a day in order to prevent the development of overweight and chronic illnesses. In the Sacramento region today, only 38% of people are physically active enough to enjoy the health benefits of regular exercise and to avoid chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Walking can also replace car travel for some of our transportation needs. A 30-minute walk is about one and a half miles. If more people walked or biked to their close-by destinations, instead of driving, we’d see less traffic, fewer injuries and deaths, and cleaner air. There would be less asthma, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and depression. We would spend less on health care, since today we are spending a great deal on medical care for people with chronic conditions due to physical inactivity, overweight, and poor air quality.
Communities designed for walking and active travel combine an enjoyable activity with sustainable transportation. Walkable communities are critical to a healthy future. WALKSacramento is working to bring back the choice to walk safely and conveniently for recreation and transportation.