As a New Yorker (okay, New York City resident…I can’t say “New Yorker” for another seven years), I tend to do a lot of walking. It’s one of the main modes of transportation in this city, and you quickly realize distance is all relative. A mile can be a standard walk from point A to point B, while my car-driving-comrades wouldn’t fathom walking a mile in the summer heat. Not when you can roll down the windows and cruise, as Florida Georgia Line would croon.
Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of going for longer walks than necessary. Instead of walking two blocks up to my subway stop, I’ve started clocking a mile or two depending on how energetic I’m feeling. Not only does this give me a chance to unwind and squeeze a little exercise in after sitting for eight hours, but I like taking various routes to my final destination so I can check out new pockets of my city.
The opportunity to go for a walk also gives you a moment to relax your mind without the constant distraction of social media, TV and the constant bombardment of interruptions we deal with during our waking hours. Well, you could stream Netflix on your phone while pausing to tweet as you walk — but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you want to get side-swiped by a bike messenger.
To bring this back to money, I’ve started to use nighttime strolls as an opportunity to catch up with one of my friends who lives in my neighborhood. We both get caught in the “busy trap” of life, but lately we use our spare time for a power talk and walk session. We hit the pavement at 9:30 or 10:00 at night and spend 30 to 45 minutes catching up while walking (at a New York pace which is most people’s power walk) for two or three miles. It’s a great way to clear your mind before bed, and catch up with a friend without the cost and calories of grabbing drinks, drinks or coffee.
You also see some pretty great sites when you open yourself up to just wandering around. Here are some of my highlights from the last month:
- Peach and I went for a late-night stroll during our trip to Austin and witnessed a proposal (which I shamelessly photographed).
- I had a lot of solo time during my recent trip to London and spent most of it just walking around. My first afternoon there I stumbled upon Big Ben, the next afternoon I found Buckingham Palace and the third morning I sauntered into St. James Park while aimlessly wandering.
- My friends and I took a leisurely stroll through Central Park after brunch last Sunday and found a quiet meadow tucked away from the sights and sounds of New York.
So take this afternoon to just go for a walk!
35 responses to “Frugal Find: Go For a Walk”
In my opinion, walking or biking around your city is a much better way to become intimately acquainted with it. Walking through your neighborhood gives you the chance to notice a bed flowers, a brand new shop, or pop into a bar for a quick beer. It’s tough for us in the summer, but I definitely need to commit to ditching the car more often.
I loved walking around Nashville when I visited! The style of neighborhoods seem to change so quickly that it’s great for sight-seeing.
Hubby and I recently took a day off and spent it walking NYC, mostly Central Park. We ended up walking over 15 miles and had a blast exploring everything on foot. It’s amazing what you can see when you are not passing it by quickly in a car.
15 miles?! WOW! I got exhausted after my 5 mile stroll on Sunday. I’m really impressed. I hope you stopped for an ice cream cone from Mr. Softee.
How fun! Especially witnessing a proposal! You don’t see that going for a walk in the country. Plus, what a great way to do an activity for free! Now, to get the Big Guy to go with me ….
But a walk in the country has that great fresh air. You just don’t get the good smells in the city…
I’m totally with you on that! I walk a lot – every day to and from work, plus usually a 20 minute walk at lunch time to stretch my legs. In fact, I wrote a post about it not long ago: http://www.gimmeplease.com/the-most-relaxing-part-of-my-day/
I’ll be back in NYC next weekend and I agree, it’s a totally walkable city! With so much to see, it’s easy to tour the whole city on foot.
I do love how walkable NYC is compared to other cities, plus there is always something to do!
Walking / hiking is the foundation of my fitness program, and I love it for mental relaxation too. Nothing like a walk alone in the wilderness to get your mind right! I walk / hike at least 60 miles per month, love it.
60 miles a month? Well done, sir! Nice that you have access to good hiking trails.
That’s one of the main reasons I love NYC…it’s walkability! Walking is enjoyable and relaxing…and there’s often so much to see and stuff going on that you don’t realize how far you’ve walked. So what’s the requirement to call yourself a New Yorker…10 years? =) And in my recent posts about exciting cities and whether NYC is a place to raise a family…I keep seeing Austin in my comments. How did you like Austin?
According to Sex and the City you have to live in NYC for 10 years to be a New Yorker, so clearly that’s the rule.
As as Austin goes, fun to visit but I’d never want to live there. A) Way too hot and B) it felt so dead compared to New York. Granted, UT was in session so the population was probably cut in half. I did love all the outdoor activities there though!
Yes! Walking is probably our favorite hobby (esp. if you count hiking as walking). Living in Boston, we too walk to commute (if we’re not biking) and it’s a wonderful way to experience the city. There’s so much to look at and there’s no need to spend money on anything. We also try to take a walk for pleasure every evening with our Frugal Hound–it’s our favorite way to decompress and talk about our days.
I’m also firmly convinced that you see a city in a different light when you walk it. You appreciate the architecture, the interesting alleys, the random public art, etc in a way that you can’t if you’re trapped in a car.
It’s so true how you can appreciate the nuances of a city when you walk around. I wish I had the guts to bike in New York, but I always think it’ll end with me in a hospital bed! I would bike to work if I owned a bike and could work up the courage.
Earlier this week, I heard on a radio health blurb that the best way to wake up fully is to get fresh air at the start of the day. I’ve taken the message to heart, and for the last few days I’ve rolled out of bed and taken our dog for an early morning stroll. (Usually the poor guy has to wait for my teen daughter to wake up before he gets his walk – and she’s really sleeping in this summer.) It has worked. I’m more awake at an earlier time thanks to this new habit. So there’s another benefit of walking : )
I keep telling myself I’ll get up the next morning and walk before work, but I never do. I just need to do it!! You’ve inspired me to get up early tomorrow for a nice power walk in the morning.
Walking is one of the things I miss the most about living in NY! In SF, my train stops at my corner and lets off at my office’s corner, so not much need to walk. My husband and I finally started to take walks at night together to make sure we actually get some movement in and force us to talk about things besides work. It really is a great way to unwind!
It really is a great way to end your day. My subway stop is really close to the office too, but I try to walk to a further one after work and I need to get some of the tension of sitting all day out of my body.
I wished I lived in an area that wasn’t so secluded. We have plenty of good walking areas but nothing ever happens. Its always just me and Hubs with the path to ourselves. We are headed to London in 2 months and I’m excited to see what we can stumble upon.
So much great stumbling in London!! Have such a great trip.
A lot of people have forgotten that walking is an excellent mode of transportation, which is really weird. It can be fun when the weather is nice, it’s extremely healthy, you can clear your mind, you stumble upon all sorts of stuff and you don’t have to look for bike/car parking space!
I love my 15 minute walk after work and wouldn’t have it any other way. Great advice!
15 minute walk to work?! I’m very envious!
I do my best to avoid driving into Manhattan mainly because of parking. But I enjoy walking and seeing the sights and discovering shops and places I otherwise wouldn’t if I was driving. I need to start discovering more of Staten Island on foot though!
I still need to get out to Staten Island. I hear there are some great Italian bakeries and restaurants! I imagine driving in Manhattan is a nightmare. I’ve only done it once, before I moved here when I was visiting. We only drove in and then out when we left.
We are big walkers in our house! There are Aldo studies out there that show that doing new things, even things as simple as changing up your route home from work (one of their examples literally,) does a lot to improve your happiness levels.
Isn’t that interesting? Just getting out of a little bit a rut I guess. I’ll have to keep changing things up!
Walking is a nice and free activity especially with our 1 year old. It’s funny how cheap/free activities are good for your health a lot of times.
Like running! If only I could get myself to really enjoy running the same way I like a nice long walk through the park.
LA is not a very “walky” city, that’s for sure. I agree it’s a good way to stop and smell the roses. I used to walk a lot more when I lived in Seattle, now I shamelessly drive more than I should.
Certainly not as walkable, but you do have great access to beaches for a delightful stroll.
Whenever I’m on tour, I go for runs first thing after arriving in a new city. It helps me map everything out in my mind and figure out where I want to explore more, while getting in a workout.
That must be such a nice way to see your temporary home! Plus, burns some calories so you can indulge in local foods. 🙂
I used to make going for a daily walk a priority – it cleared my mind instantly and gave me an energy boost!
It really does! I like trying to make them a priority during my workday, especially on a beautiful summer afternoon.
One of my personal mottos is that there are few problems in life that can’t be solved by a good stroll. 🙂 Like you I live in a city where walking is the major form of getting around. I feel good about the exercise I get. Plus the savings on gas and public transportation fare don’t hurt either.