We at DietsinReview have been advocating walking as a healthy lifestyle choice for years. Walking is an excellent way to get in some cardiovascular exercise, lose weight, and even lower your risk of mental illnesses, such as dementia. It is very easy to walk a lot: you can buy a treadmill and walk in your living room while watching television, walk around a track at a local high school, or if you live in a big city – like New York City or Chicago – you can walk to your job each day.
But what if you do not live in a big city? Are you forced to resign your walking workouts to your local mall or gym? Not necessarily.
The US DOT Federal Highway Administration and FedEx recently announced the most Walk Friendly Communities in the USA. These communities were ranked from bronze to platinum, based on the community’s dedication to “improving and sustaining walkability and pedestrian safety through comprehensive programs, plans and policies.” Factors that were used to determine the “walkability” of the city included the city’s commitment to building more pedestrian friendly walkways, promotion of walking as a healthy lifestyle choice, and understanding of how pedestrians travel within a city.
The only city that was awarded the Platinum level was Seattle, Washington. For years, Seattle has been known as a pedestrian-friendly city. The city has a Pedestrian Master Plan which lays the casework for continuing this trend in the future.
Here are the other cities who made the cut:
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Arlington, Virginia
- Hoboken, New Jersey
- Santa Barbara, California
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- Decatur, Georgia
- Austin, Texas
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Flagstaff, Arizona
- Wilsonville, Oregon
Where do you like to walk? Personally, I prefer a nice park or my college’s campus. However, there are many more locations that people can enjoy a nice walk, so feel free to share your favorite walking places with us in the comments section.
by Kelsey Murray
May 10th, 2011