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Walking and Running Tips for City Dwellers

Get a Great Workout in an Urban Landscape

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  • Too many cars on the street to walk on the asphalt. Wish I could.
  • Good point whether you are in the city, suburbia or the country.
  • Air quality worries me.
  • There is a trail that runs throughout where I live. It is the largest park in town and you can start/ stop wherever you want and I live 1/2 mile from it. I get a great workout riding my bike along it besides there are free bikes along the trail for anyone to use!
  • I am lucky enough to live within a stone's throw of our high school football field and track. The track is rubberized and much easier on the joints.
  • I take my walking back into the subdivisions behind my complex (for exercise walking). I also walk to places a lot using the sidewalk. I hate rural areas and feel much less safe because of the lack of sidewalks and traffic signals (and more people who don't keep their dogs on leashes!!) For jogging I like the parks because the trails are generally asphalt or packed dirt and not as hard as the sidewalks. Living in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area I am thankfully SURROUNDED by parks that are generally full of kids and joggers.

    I do wear earbuds but the nice thing about those is that I can take one out and leave the other one on low. I can actually hear people talking to me that way. I also keep an ear out for cyclists, although even without earbuds I find you don't always hear them (when cycling I do the polite thing and make noise if I see a pedestrian in front of me, bicycles can be ultra quiet).
  • good suggestions. Thanks
  • I liked the idea of looking at the city as if you were a visitor. I'm going to try that once a week.
  • good suggestions. Thanks.
  • My city has a "mayor's mile" skywalk. So that helps with inclement weather, and it's above the street so there's no traffic to slow you down (besides the other walkers). It connects multiple downtown buildings: the convention center, the new arena, a few hotels, a few parking garages, a food court, and a few restaurants. Since there are so many large businesses involved with lots of people around, it seems like a safer option crime-wise as well, though I still keep my eyes peeled for anything suspicious. It isn't open 24-7, but the hours of operation are pretty convenient.

    There is also a greenway to connect the parks along the river, with a pedestrian bridge that is almost completed. It's great to live in a place that uses my tax money for something that benefits us all!
  • walking in the city is easy! lived in Chicago 14 years and walked everywhere. Walking in the country is easy, lots of open space and back roads. Walking in a crimeridden auto town is HARD. Even going to the park you need at least 2 others for safety and don't even attempt to walk the roads. (Think Flint (where I live) or Detroit...)
  • I listen to music sometimes on the treadmill but never when walking. Earphones you can't hear when someone is coming up on you.
  • Oh! And not wearing headphones is essential (thanks to the other commenters). Also, the new hybrid and electric vehicles are very quiet so be sure to look as well as listen!
  • I chaired a teen driving school and this advice is the most pertinent to day-to-day life: always look where you want the car to go. That being said, drivers are often distracted and you can be one of the distractions if you're exercising on the road... That driver looking at you will head that car right on over. I will beg people to stick to the sidewalk unless there is an obstruction that forces you onto the road. Stay safe!!! And yes, I live and work outdoors in an urban environment; there is more nature out there than most people realize!
  • Even in the suburbs you need to be aware of what is happening around you. For years I lived a block away from a street level train station in NJ. 2 deaths happened at the crossing (which included a railroad crossing light, and barrier,,,both wearing earphones). The other issue is, in the suburbs where you have TURN ON RED, you always need to be mindful of a driver who is in a hurry. Some people will make that turn even when they see a CAR, and they are almost blind to a pedestrian.

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