I'm not sure this is news, really, considering stress is a major factor in cardiovascular health. Not to mention exhaust fumes, etc. I live in a rural area, so it's easy for me to get near nature, but not so easy for those who live in cities. Perhaps more green spaces?
Much as I love to walk around my neighbourhood, smell their roses and admire their home renovation projects, as well as exchange greetings along the way, I decided that uneven surfaces, traffic emissions including noise, and occasional feelings of insecurity were all sound reasons for driving me back into the treadmill section of the gym. Not only that - sometimes I'd almost coast to a standstill to admire the awesome majesty of the mountain or some other vista and so I probably wasn't getting as efficient a workout as on a monitored piece of machinery. I can still stand in awe to watch the changing light and seasons having their effect on the mountain as part of my meditation and "gratitudes"
9/2/2009 10:59:46 AM
I never considered this before. Thanks, Nicole, for another great article. Luckily, I live in a small town where heavy traffic isn't a problem. When I'm outdoors, I stay off the main roads anyway, but that's because I've always had this fear of getting swiped by a careless driver.
Living in Florida, I have to walk during hot, sticky days where the humidity used to make it difficult for me to breathe at all, inside or outside the house. When I walk to pick up my son from school, I used to walk by the highway because it was the fastest route, but during school-and-work-hour traffic, along with some construction that's been going on, with a dose of the humidity, I keep my nose tucked into my shirt just for easier breathing! I've since opted to leave a little bit earlier and taking some backroads in the neighborhood to get to the school, I still have to cross the highway, but at least I'm not next to it for my 20 minute walk!
I have always thought that if I can smell the cars while walking, how much junk must I be breathing in when I am exerting myself. My walking partners and I stick to the urban - off road- hiking trails here in town. I occasionally walk surface streets, usually later in the evening and really early in the morning. Thank goodness for the airconditioned gym on 115 degree days.
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