The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Think twice about jumping in the car

Posted in
Live well

Monday, Mar 26, 2012

Gas prices are on the rise--AGAIN--so that gives us the perfect opportunity to talk about active modes of transportation--AGAIN! We have posted several blogs over the years talking about the health benefits of biking to work, the environmental benefits, and even the time that can be saved biking versus driving a car. But the question is--have any of us actually made active transportation more a part of our lives or do we just pay it lip service every time gas prices go up?I know for me walking to the grocery store with my two young kids in tow when I have a huge list of purchases to make is just not feasible. There have been times however, when we have ditched the car and have walked to the post office to drop off a package. Trips to the park are always made on foot for us, even the park that my son loves to go to that is further away than the one right in our neighborhood. But even with those, I know I could still be better. Just like with anything, it takes a little forethought and planning. So our challenge to you (and ourselves) this time around is just to start thinking about active transportation.  What are the modes of active transportation that you  might be willing to do? Here are a list of possibilities:

  • walking/jogging/running
  • cycling
  • in-line skating
  • skateboarding
  • non-mechanized wheelchairing
  • snowshoeing/skiing
Next, think about activities in your life that may be reached through active modes of transportation. For example:
  • How close is your church, grocery store, post office, pharmacy?
  • Are there various bike paths/lanes that could lead you to your work?
  • Can you walk/bike to a train station or bus stop and take mass transit to your destination?
  • Can you use active modes of transportation with your kids to get them to school?
  • Are there restaurants or eateries within walking distance of your home or work?
  • Can you reach a friend's house without having to take the car?
After you have created your list, look it over and see if there is one or two that you might be willing to try. More than likely they will need some extra planning so make sure you think about all the steps necessary. For instance, our recent trip to the post office required that I leave in plenty of time to get back for naps which also meant that I had to pack lunches for the kids to eat on the way back.


Once you have a plan in place, give it a try. Maybe it is something that you can do one time a week, or even just one time a month. Jumping in our cars is just second nature to us. Our goal is for you to at least think twice about that and consider "moving more" as a possible alternative.