Pull on your comfy shoes to discover how easy, fun and fast it can be to get around on foot. Walking has proven health benefits, including improved mental health, and it’s affordable for everyone. Short trips are great for walking, and for longer trips, combine walking with transit or carpooling. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about a parking ticket!

Here are a few tips to get you on your way:

Plan your trip
Check out a paper map, or even better, input your trip in GoManitoba. Map out a route that fits your comfort and skill level or personal preference – a combination of residential streets and pathways or the most direct route on major streets. Ask a colleague or friend who commutes on foot regularly for advice, or use GoManitoba to find Walking Buddies in your area. You might want to consider walking the route when you have lots of time, to find out if there are any obstacles or more optimal streets (preferably with lots of shade and a coffee shop!)

Check out the handy photo guide to decipher cycling and pedestrian infrastructure and help plan your route.

Gear up
All you really need for walking is a good pair of shoes and a backpack to carry things. Consider leaving a pair of dress shoes for a quick change at the office. Over time, you’ll find that investing in quality gear, like a raincoat, umbrella, windpants and winter boots, will ensure you are comfortable through all four seasons.

Smell nice
Showers and lockers at your office are helpful for people who actively commute a long distance. If your building doesn’t currently have these, check out any gyms that would consider offering a discounted rate for use of their showers. Consider leaving a change of clothes at the office if you plan to shower. Or try cycling or walking at a pace that keeps you dry and fresh!

Haul your gear
Or your groceries, library books, dog food – whatever you might want to pick up on foot or by bike. Trailers for bikes are an easy and handy way to transport just about everything. No longer need your child’s bike trailer? Use it to carry groceries instead! If you’re on foot, consider a rolling pull cart – they now come in fancy designs and colours. In winter, a toboggan makes quick work of carrying the kids and the kitty litter from the store. Consider investing in one or two wagons for your office for everyone to share.

Have fun together
Organize a walking wellness or cycling safety workshop at your next staff meeting or over lunch. Help promote events like the Commuter Challenge and Bike to Work Day at your office.

Walking: The Activity of a Lifetime
Check out some tips on setting up your own walking program with the brochure Walking: The Activity for a Lifetime.

Green Action Centre’s Workplace Commuter Options program can help encourage healthy commuting at your school or office!