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If you live close enough to work, consider walking as an alternative to driving your car. Perhaps your commute can combine a walk to a bus stop and then catching a bus to work. Not only will you help cut down on traffic congestion and smog, you'll get regular exercise and save on gasoline costs. You'll also have the opportunity to get to know your neighborhood on a more intimate level and foster a stronger sense of community.

Health Benefits of Walking:

Walking has been shown to result in a remarkably large range of health benefits, including:
  • Reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, male impotence, obesity and osteoporosis.
  • Alleviation of depression.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Lower cholesterol levels.

Walking Tips:

  • Do a few warm-up exercises to limber up your muscles before starting your walk and conclude your walk with some stretching exercises. Start with short walks and gradually build up to a longer distance.

  • Find a rhythm that feels comfortable and swing your arms naturally to balance your leg movements. Consider using a backpack, instead of carrying a bag or briefcase, to leave your arms free.

  • Be sure to wear comfortable, cushioned walking shoes. Your clothes should be comfortable too and allow you to move freely.

  • Level, well-lighted streets with sidewalks and traffic signals usually provide the safest, easiest places to walk. If you walk at a time of day when the sun is not fully shining, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing.

  • For safety's sake, always cross streets at intersections or marked crosswalks.

  • If you have to take a route that has no sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street so you can see approaching traffic.

Additional details and tips about walking are available at several websites, including:

Santa Barbara Walks

Traffic Solutions is a division of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

2007 SBCAG Traffic Solutions