Bike, walk, roll!
Active transportation is your route to better health
BY DEANNA BETTERIDGE
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, May / June 2010
Active transporation - already a popular way to
get around in many cities across the country -
is picking up momentum here in Winnipeg.
What on earth is active transportation?
That's what I thought the first time I heard
the term. But, it really speaks for itself -
active transportation (AT for short) refers
to any form of human-powered transportation,
such as walking, cycling, in-line
skating, skateboarding, scooting, wheeling,
skiing, snowshoeing, and canoeing to get
from one destination to another. Walking
and cycling are the most common forms of
AT and can easily be combined with public
transit to increase convenience.
So, any way that you can actively transport
yourself from one location to another,
rather than driving, is considered AT.
Incorporating AT into your day has many
benefits for you, your family and your
community. Actively commuting to work,
school or around your neighbourhood can
provide you and your family with physical,
mental and emotional health benefits.
It also increases your sense of community
and neighbourhood safety, saves money on
costs associated with driving and helps the
environment by reducing CO2 emissions
and air pollution.
One of the main reasons we've had increased
buzz around AT is because the City
of Winnipeg is currently working on a very
exciting $20.4 million AT program that
will increase the opportunities for you to
walk and cycle to work, school, shopping
and other destinations. When this project
is complete, Winnipeggers will be able to
access 375 kilometres of AT routes, which
will include multi-use pathways, neighbourhood
pathways, bike lanes, sharrows,
and bike boulevards.
With the increased popularity of AT,
along with rising parking costs and environmental
concerns, many workplaces and
employees are working together to support
AT options. There are several resources that
employees and employers can access for
I know that AT may not work for everyone
as their main source of transportation,
but my hope is that everyone will pause
and try to find one place in their day or
week that they'd be able to include it. By
including AT, you are including physical
activity into your day - which is a great
way to get your 30 to 60 minutes of
daily physical activity. You are going there
anyway, so try to make the trip even more
worthwhile by actively commuting!
Do you have an active transportation story or tip? If so, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deanna Betteridge is a co-ordinator with
Winnipeg in motion.
Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.
Read the May / June 2010 issue of Wave