Americans spend a lot of time in their cars and not a lot of time walking and being active. This is unfortunate since cars contribute to pollution, global warming, and destruction of the ozone layer. This is not to mention the fact that all that driving can be very expensive, with gas prices constantly on the rise. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the constant use of cars is causing Americans’ waistlines to keep expanding. Instead of walking to get from one place to another, as we did in our caveman days, we simply hop in our cars and go, even if our destination is fairly close. This results in a population that’s a lot less active, a lot more overweight, and a lot less heart healthy and physically fit in general. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to get in better shape, spend less money, and help the planet.
Invest in a Bicycle
If you live within a reasonable distance of your job, then you can have a positive impact on the planet and on your body by biking to work. If you can’t quite commit to biking all the way to your workplace, then you can think about biking to the nearest bus stop and getting to work from there. You just need a secure lock for your bike if you choose this option. You’re not limited to just biking to work either. Most errands can be taken care of by bike. Hit up the grocery store or go to visit friends on your bike. Choose one that’s rugged and can stand the test of time, so that you don’t have to waste a lot of money on replacement parts and so that your bike doesn’t end up in a landfill within a few years of purchase.
Go for a Walk
If you don’t want to invest in any equipment, then you can get in your exercise and save the planet by choosing to go for regular walks. Just walking thirty minutes a day can help to burn calories, boost your metabolism, and skyrocket your energy level. It’s even better if you can multi-task on your walks—go somewhere you would normally go by car and kill two birds with one stone. A good pair of walking shoes is really all you need to get started on this planet-saving activity.
Take Baby Steps
Americans live busy lives, and it’s not feasible for all of us to start biking or walking every day. If that’s not something you think you can do, don’t worry. You don’t have to make such a huge commitment all at once. Just make one small, manageable step in the right direction. For example, you could set the goal of biking to work or the bus stop once a week. If at all possible, get the rest of your family involved too and set goals that you can all reach together. This will make you more likely to stick to your plans and will help instill important values in your little one. Above all else, remember that this is supposed to be fun, so don’t be afraid to have a good time while working toward your goals. You might even want to think about rewarding yourself every time you successfully reach a goal; this is a great way to keep your incentive up.
This article was written by JR Olson for the team at Kanetix.ca; they have information on financial issues, like refinancing; be sure to visit them, as they can help you see if refinancing makes sense for you.