The days are hot, our roads are dangerous and you simply can't be bothered with walking at all. It wasn’t always that way Years ago, our grandparents walked for miles to get to the market, church and school. Their journeys were not the easiest and it definitely took them some time to get around. But it paid off with the long life and health they enjoyed.
Then we got taxis in the 1950s and personal motor vehicles began to increase on the roads. Walking was no longer fashionable. Today, walking for more than ten minutes is taboo for many Jamaicans. We drive to places merely a minute or two away. In some parts of urban areas you see very few people on the streets. What’s worse, is that this is starting to show in obesity levels, even in children.
So, it’s time we reclaim the benefits of walking and encourage our children to do the same.
Studies show that if you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine you can burn up to 150 calories. That's enough exercise to get rid of all the calories you had for lunch.
One way to establish and stick to a walking routine is to make it exciting. We suggest you get
your playlist and grab your earphone. Music gives you that extra kick and takes your mind off the actual exercise. You probably won’t even notice the extra effort you put in.
Walking in the same location can become boring, so choose a different route sometimes. Take the time to learn a few new spots. You can also try jogging part of the way. If walking 30 minutes burns 150 calories, you will gain more by jogging at intervals. Sometimes all you need for motivation is someone to share the exercise. Invite a friend to accompany you on your walks. It may challenge you to work harder.
Before you find another excuse for being stationery, here are a few places where you can take a quick walk or jog in Kingston. Please share in comments places elsewhere in Jamaica where people walk.
- Mona Reservoir – A walker’s delight given the scenic pond and lush surrounding vegetation.
- Emancipation Park – Crowded, but useful for a quick walk and people watching.
- Police Officer’s Club – Functional for morning or evening walks, though nothing to write home about.
- Beverly Hills – Challenging, and you get lovely views as an added benefit.
- Jacks Hill – Quiet roads for morning or evening walks.
- Widcombe/Golden Spring – Steep and arduous but worth every step.