I’ll spare you all the unnecessary details but the doctor was on my case about needing to lose some weight and lower my blood-pressure, and suggested I take up some form of exercise. The problem I had with this exercise thing was trying to find the time to do it! Starting early, with a desk job and a heavy workload, meant that I was, frankly, exhausted at the end of the day. So I was struggling to understand how I could possibly fit this change into my life.
At the same time, my firm started to cut back on parking, which forced me into having to decide between using public transport or paying significant parking charges. It made sound economic sense to use the bus rather than pay for parking and fuel. My hand was forced on the public transport front – this would also benefit my health as I also made the decision to start walking a bit of the bus route home.
The first time that I did this was on a nice day, I had my MP3 player to entertain me and the worst case scenario was that I’d have to walk just a few hundred yards to the next bus stop. I actually ended up walking a bit more than a single stop, getting on the bus three or four stops later to complete my journey home. It was literally no sweat!
This seemed to work for me but it always helps to set a specific goal, so I bought one of those smart fitness watches. Chasing the 10,000 step challenge worked rather well for me! I work in the centre of Southend and live in Leigh-on-Sea, so I now walk into Westcliff on a daily basis. I walk about 7,500 steps following the bus-route from the office, and the remaining steps are clocked up during the rest of the day.
When I started writing this article I was keen to promote the benefits of sustainable travel, which I hope I’ve done?! But as a post-script it is worth saying that now, having lost about a stone in weight, I realise this is also about my personal long-term sustainability; I know it’s selfish, but that’s quite important too!