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Walking has health, environmental benefits
December 10, 2022

By DePaul Healthy Trailblazer Journal reporters | You may think that walking might not benefit you. But walking can help relieve stress, give you an opportunity to be in nature, and help the environment, several DePaul staff members said in recent interviews.

Ms. Welsh, DePaul assistant principal, said she enjoys walking in her neighborhood and in Philadelphia parks. One of her favorite places is Fairmount Park. 

“I love walking,” she said. “It helps my stress levels, keeps me stay healthy, saves gas, and helps me learn about a lot of other places.” 

Walking also gives her a chance to think creatively, she said. 

She said she tries to take 10,000 steps every day, or about five miles. But sometimes she doesn’t accomplish her goal. She doesn’t get discouraged, she said. She tries to reach it the following day. 

Taking a walk has health benefits such as cheering you up, helping you sleep better, and building your muscles, according to the American Heart Association. It is also healthy for your heart, the group says. 

Walking is a “greener transportation,” which means that it doesn’t create pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a government group that
seeks to protect the environment. A car releases carbon dioxide, which pollutes the air and contributes to climate change. 

Ms. Trice, middle school math teacher, said she likes to walk in her neighborhood with her pit bull when she gets home for work. Walking helps her relieve stress and sleep well at night, she said. 

Ms. Trice offered a few reasons why walking is a good activity. She said it can help people keep a healthy weight. It also saves money on gas and keeps the climate cleaner. 

Ms. Richter, a school secretary, said she likes to walk on a pleasant day, not when it rains. She walks every day since she heads the DePaul’s after-school program. She also walks in her neighborhood, which knows and feels comfortable in. Sometimes, she said, she walks in city parks. 

Walking makes her feel relaxed and clears her mind, Ms. Richter said. 

Mr. Leonard, a DePaul religion and social studies teacher, said he usually doesn’t walk for leisure. “I am one of those purpose walkers,” he said. “I have to have a reason to do it.” 

When he visits his mother in Center City, he said, he refuses to pay $40 in parking. He leaves his car about a mile from his mother’s home and walks. 

He said he also likes to walk when he is reconnecting with friends. A favorite destination is Valley Green. 

Ms. Dickson, a school counselor, said she takes time every morning and afternoon to walk with her two dogs. She also said she likes to bike on trails because it makes her feel “refreshed and relaxed.” 

“I like to walk because I love going outside and getting fresh air,” she said. 

Ms. Westfield, the family connections liaison, said she likes to walk every day in the spring and sum- mer, mostly around the school. On a typical day, she spends between one and two hours walking. Ms. Westfield said she will sometimes “take my niece and nephew” on walks. 

She said she walks in places like Pennypack Park because walking in her neighborhood isn’t the safest thing to do.

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