In many neighbourhoods, there are sidewalks, small parks every few blocks, and bike paths behind the houses. All of this should make a walk around your neighbourhood pleasant and refreshing… right? However, most of these neighbourhoods are not the first choice for a nice walk, even though most Ottawans live in those areas.
One way to make a walk more enjoyable is to do something while walking... [like] listen to music, your favourite audiobook or a podcast.
What to do while walking
One way to make a walk more enjoyable is to do something while walking. For example, you can listen to music, your favourite audiobook or a podcast. This way, your mind isn’t just concentrating on the surrounding area, but is distracted by something that brings you joy. Another option is finding a walking buddy, like a friend, a family member or a pet! Socializing is an important part of anyone’s life, and will definitely make the time fly by. Also, walking a pet (even your cat…) will make you and your furry friend happy and healthy.
Where to walk
Another method to spruce up your walks is to switch up your walking routine. This will let you find hidden gems in your area. And if you are close to the Greenbelt, you can go for a hike to appreciate Ottawa’s natural beauty. As well, if you like meeting new people, or want a better chance at running into your neighbours and friends, you can try finding a more social and busy part of your neighbourhood.
You can set a goal, like finishing your walk in a certain amount of time, or walking a certain distance.
Finding a destination to walk to is another engaging way to make your walk feel more exciting and adventurous. Some places you could walk to are a coffee shop, a bookstore, a park or a library. This gives your walk more purpose and will give you a bigger sense of accomplishment. If there’s food where you’re going, you can treat yourself for your accomplishment. You can set a goal, like finishing your walk in a certain amount of time, or walking a certain distance. It also makes you feel good and productive, and can be a great way to reach fitness goals.
A lot of people enjoy playing games during long and boring car rides, like “I Spy”. Walking games can also make time seem to go faster. So, while you’re walking, you can try to spot all the blue cars, or all the peony bushes. By doing so, on your next walk, you can try to beat your record of cars counted, and make your walk longer and more interesting.
Socializing is an important part of anyone’s life, and will definitely make the time fly by.
There are a lot of steps you can take to improve your walks and have a more active lifestyle. But it doesn’t stop there. The reality is that in these areas, there is often a lack of benches, safe and large sidewalks, and big parks. This is why neighbourhoods should be improved to be more walkable and accessible for all of their residents.
We asked high school students from an urbanism class to contribute to the conversation about walkable neighbourhoods in Ottawa. This blog was written by Arlie Mulligan and Ella Gadoury.