I haven’t been in the mood to swim or lift weights lately, so I’ve been walking to make sure I get enough exercise.
I came across an interesting site in my fits of nerdliness and compulsive Internet research (hey, I have an excuse. It’s my job). It’s called Walkscore and it’s supposed to be a rating of how “walkable” your house is. The basic principles of it are that you plug in your home or work address and find out how many amenities you can get to from your house.
My own address has a score of 68. It’s moderately walkable. The house I grew up has a score of 38. You’re pretty much car-dependent. (True!). I checked out a couple of addresses where I’ve lived as an adult. I used to live on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, VA. That has a high walkable score indeed — 86. (The best you can get is 100). I remember really enjoying being able to go out of my front door and walk just anywhere. If I ever moved back to Freddy’s Patch, I would do my best to live in town if I could possibly manage it, even considering the atrocious parking. Being able to walk to the train station and take the VRE into Washington DC for the day was always really nice.
But lots of people don’t live places where walking to do errands is even reasonable. I mean, I could eschew a car and do all my grocery shopping at the little town grocery store. In fact, this month, just to force myself to walk more, I’m doing the French thing and going grocery shopping every day and walking.
It’s quite a change from someone who used to do Power Shopping. But I’m not trying to save time in shopping for a large family. This is to force myself to take a half hour walk every day. So, I suppose in a way it’s a little bit of a time saver, as it’s exercise and grocery shopping all in one.
I can see where this would be a real money sink if I didn’t make sure, though, that I had a meal plan and stuck to a list! It does increase the chance at impulse purchases.
You’d be amazed at how much you can fit in a backpack. I don’t carry groceries home in sacks because I like my hands free. Last week I carried home about 20 lbs of pork loin and chickens on sale. So that’s meat for quite a long time. You don’t entirely throw out buying in bulk. However, it’s quite a change from the warehouse store mentality. It’s not that my kitchen shelves are empty. They’re not. I can still concentrate on stocking up on something if I need to, but that stocking up will be that day’s trip.
I’m lucky to live in an area where walking is a reasonable choice to get out and about. I do like it!