By: Valerie Valcour
Is your neighborhood or community walkable? What does walkable mean, anyway? Walkable or wheelchair roll-able means that anyone of any ability can get around by walking or using their wheelchair. Getting around can mean getting to a grocery store or the post office, or being able to exercise and have fun. Did you know that the average person who lives in a walkable community can weigh 6-10 pounds less? You can check your community’s Walk Score here.
If your community is walkable and you feel safe walking or wheelchair rolling, here are a few helpful tips to get started on your journey:
- Set a realistic goal for yourself.
- Take a look around you and figure out what you can do every day to add more walking or wheelchair rolling to your routine.
- Track your progress and celebrate your success!
Some communities do not have sidewalks, or there may be safety concerns. There are ways you can get involved to make your community more walkable and wheelchair roll-able. You can reach out to your Town Clerk and ask about your town’s plan regarding walking, biking and recreation. You can start a conversation by asking your town to conduct a walking audit. Walkable communities are not just healthy, they are also attractive and fun. The Vermont Department of Health’s Active Living guide can give you some ideas to help make your community more walkable.
Live well! Promote walking and walkable communities for all ages and abilities. Learn how by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/walking/call-to-action/pdf/infographic.pdf .
Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.