How to Spend Less Time Behind the Wheel

On average, Americans drive 37 miles per day and do not necessarily meet the five (5) mile minimum walking recommended per day to stay healthy.  Save wear and tear on your automobile and get more mileage on your feet.

Per Day Average, for Americans

  • Mileage by car: 37 miles
  • Distance by foot: 2.5 miles

Several tips to minimize car miles and maximize foot miles in the parking lot:  (I use the supermarket and the coffee shop as examples.)

Instead of this:

You circle for parking several times and fight with another car to get the parking space closest to the supermarket.

Do this:

Park at the first space you see far away from the supermarket so you can spend more time walking.  You avoid fighting with other automobiles for a parking space.  Beware of moving automobiles in the parking area.

Instead of this:

You circle for parking two times. You stop to yield to two pedestrians, two automobiles getting out of their parking spaces, and two other exiting cars.

Do this:

Park in the first space closet to the exit of the parking lot, so it’s easy to get out of the parking lot, thus avoiding the two pedestrians and four automobiles mentioned above.

Instead of this:

You park in front of the coffee shop.  You go there. Then you want to go to the supermarket.  You move your automobile and park in front of the supermarket.

Do this:

If you are going to the coffee shop and the supermarket, park somewhere in between the two, so you only park once versus park twice.  Let your legs do the work and put in a few more minutes into your exercise regimen.

Last tip:

If not in a total rush, avoid a drive-through.  While in an idle automobile you sit on your butt longer.  It’s better to get out of the car and do some walking, even if it’s for five minutes.

Emy Louie is the author of “Fast Trains: America’s High Speed Future,” published in 2012. Since 2009, Emy has served as the Director of Public Outreach for the US High Speed Rail Association. Emy has a degree in Architecture from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.  In 2007 and 2008, she hosted her radio show. She has taught continuing education classes on sustainable design and urban development to architects and engineers.



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