When we are young, walking and biking is the method of transportation that gets us places independently. Often, as we get older we get into a routine, get in our vehicles and want to get to where we are going with as little distraction as possible. For people are not able to drive, or do not have access to vehicles, walking and biking are usually the necessary choice instead of the desired. However, both groups can benefit from rethinking their attitudes, and strengthen a sense of independence through walking and biking.

Here are some ways that walking and biking can benefit you:

  • Increase happiness: The endorphins released while walking and biking can help create an elevated mood. We generally feel better after moving.
  • Walking and biking helps you think. It clears your head so you have more space to regulate your emotions and improve your life.
  • Independence from addiction: Getting out for a walk or hopping on your bike is something you can do in that moment where you may give in to an addiction, which can also include negative thought patterns.
  • Less relying so heavily on friends and family for rides.
  • Save money on gas so you can invest in yourself, or put money toward bills instead.
  • Helps you to not feel stuck indoors.
  • Loneliness dissipates — as even if you do not meet someone, just interacting can help you to feel engaged with your community, and build confidence.
  • Freedom to live by your schedule without having to spend time waiting for cabs or busses.
  • Freedom from fear: Independence from helplessness when you know that you are contributing to a safer and healthier community.
  • Economic freedom for yourself and the community. Less is spent on road maintenance and schools save on bussing costs.
  • Walking or biking improves your health. If you think you are stuck because you have limited access to healthcare, this is a way
    you can take control.

Celebrating what we can do rather than focusing on what we cannot can be empowering. Walking and biking is a simple way to create independence and balance in your life while at the same time contributing to community togetherness. Go explore!

By, Curry Galloway a Franklin County community member and advocate for walking and biking.