I live three miles from work, so my drive time is about two minutes long to the entrance of my employer. The problem is my employer is one of the largest in my hometown. There are roughly 7,000 people who drive in and out, so the overall commute can take 15-40 minutes.
One day, I was seven cars back, waiting for the guard to check each person’s badge. I saw in my rearview mirror two pedestrians walking. I slowly released the brake pedal and my car inched closer as the car at the gate passed through, only to see the pedestrians pass me and disappear through a pedestrian/bike entrance.
I realized something; I could save gas, spend the same amount of time commuting since walking to work would equal the same as driving, and get into shape.
The next day, I decided to test out my theory. I knew saving money and gas were apparent, as $3.50 per gallon times 13 gallons ($45.50) is tangible and could be tracked. And walking on a regular basis would result in getting into shape and feeling better overall.
The X-factor was time. How much time, if any would I lose or gain?
My walk to work took 22 minutes one way. This time resulted in either a few minutes gained or lost depending on traffic. The particular day I decided to drive yielded a 32 minute commute, as evidenced by the clock in my car. Since each day the drive could range from 15-40 minutes, 22 minutes walking was easy to justify knowing that I was saving gas and money.
According to the American Heart Association, walking every day for at least 30 minutes can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels, improve blood lipid profile, maintain body weight, and lower the risk of obesity.
By not driving my car each day, I’m reducing the wear and tear on my car, saving money that would normally be used for gas, and reducing my stress level when the car in front of me does not drive up to the guard at a reasonable amount of time.
This is definitely a win/win situation. Now, every time I walk past a dozen cars, I wonder if the drivers are thinking the same thing I was that day I decided to give up my car.