Your neighborhood can be the center of your daily activity. Take a minute and think about your daily activities. Could you walk to the store or the post office? Instead of having the kids play in the backyard, walk with them to a neighborhood park. Maybe instead of jumping in the car to take them to a friend’s house, you could jump on your bikes. On a nice evening after dinner, stroll around the block, not only will you get exercise, you will also have the opportunity to run into your neighbors or chat with them while they do yard work.
Some neighborhoods support activity more than others. Sidewalks, safe street crossings and shops or other community amenities within a quarter of a mile encourage people to be active. Without these features, you can still be active in your neighborhood. Work in your garden. Map a walking route on quiet side streets. Wear reflective material to make yourself more visible to the drivers with whom you are sharing the street.
You and your neighbors can also work together to encourage daily activity. If safety is a concern, organize a formal or informal “eyes on the street” program so that people feel comfortable being outside. If the speed of traffic discourages walking, as a neighborhood, you can work with the Public Works Department to implement a traffic calming program.
Many local and national organizations can assist you in promoting neighborhood-based active living.