How to Start Walking to Work: A Step-by-Step Guide


In this post, I want to consider walking to work for just about anybody who is currently driving a car or thinks that they are not able to do it. If you just take a glance at some of the points in this post, hopefully you will feel that you can try walking at least some of the way to work in the next few days!

How to Start Walking to Work?

Simply put, you can start walking a part of the way to work once you know your journey and have a rough idea of how long it will take.

But wait, there’s a bit more to think about so let’s have a look at a few other aspects before going into more detail on this.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons of walking to work, different weather, the right kind of clothing, gear and accessories, as well as some simple tips to help you fit a little more walking into your commute, perhaps even this week!

Benefits of Walking to Work

There are variety of benefits of walking to work, as will be outlined in the sections below. 

Walking to Work as a Way to do More Exercise

Walking to work is a fantastic way to fit more exercise and physical activity into your day. 

The great thing about walking to work is that you don’t need the motivation to get up and do exercise in this way.

As I’m sure you already know, getting to work on time is motivation enough, so do it on foot is a fantastic alternative to driving for people of all ages.

Although walking to work is not a form of high intensity exercise, walking to work right he can provide a fantastic foundation for for staying mobile and also for building up physical fitness for other areas.

Can Walking to Work Help You Lose Weight? 

Although this is not a medical blog, can be said that walking to work can contribute to to overall weight loss.

This is because walking to work helps to burn more calories that driving, and, as mentioned above, it can add to your general level of fitness full stop

So, if you start doing a regular ‘walking commute’,  you can then also look at doing more intensive exercise if you don’t feel ready for that just yet.

Can Walking to Work Help You Get Fit?

Think of walking to work as the perfect foundation for  increasing your activity and physical fitness in other areas.

As it is such a regular activity, going to work on foot  is a guaranteed way of starting to boost your fitness level.

Remember that you will still need some element of high intensity physical activity, but just by starting out on foot on your commute comma you will put yourself in a great position to give you the confidence to go onto other things and improve your physical fitness.

Downsides of of Walking to Work?

OK, so there are certainly some downsides to going to work on foot, but again most of these can be quite easily overcome. 

Strain from a Backpack While Walking

If you carry a heavy bag on your way to work, then this might add strain to your back.

The best thing to consider here is whether you can lighten load on your back. 

For instance, can you leave anything at the office ovenight? Could you perhaps carry your lunch or other similar-sized items in your hand in a different bag?

You could also look at  finding a bag or backpack extra support to make sure that it is not damaging your back in any way.

Running backpacks cycling backpacks could be good here because they they cater for more active users and also for wet or rainy days.

These kinds of backpacks are also generally smaller, so encouraging you to try to carry a lighter load on your back at the same time.

You could also make other small adjustments like carrying a raincoat in your hand, as opposed to keeping it in your backpack.

Getting Wet While Walking to Work in the Rain

I can tell you that I I don’t enjoy getting wet on my commute to work just like anyone else.

For that reason, I bought some different items to help me stay dry when I walk to work.

Assuming that you already have a good raincoat, you can also get a pair of waterproof trousers to go with it.

These are generally black and and fit over work trousers so you don’t need to change your clothes, simply slip them on when it starts to rain.

That said, I found out he really need to walk through trousers when it is really tipping down! Most showers and and lighter rains don’t really affect my trousers and shoes when walking to work.

Particularly useful is to keep a spare pair of socks in a drawer at the office. Obviously, these will be clean socks so nobody can really object! The reason why I say that is it is quite easy for shoes to get wet and therefore stocks come next.

If you just walked into work and you have the wet socks it’s quite a miserable feeling for a whole day! 

However, if you simply keep a spare pair of socks in a drawer, and remember to replace them every time you use them so bringing another pair of the next day, you can simply go to the toilet and change quickly without anyone noticing. 

Or, if you are a bit more confident at your office, you could change your socks under the desk when you arrive!

[Editor’s Note: I have done this far too many times so I must feel pretty confident in the office!]

Clothes for Walking to Work

The most work clothes will be fine for working to work, you might want to change some of them to make it a little bit more appealing for you.

Specifically, I’m talking about changing polyester shirts  for cotton or other natural materials. 

From having lived in Asia for a few years, I found out the hard way that polyester really is not what a good material for breathability and sweating! 

Unfortunately, most of the cheapest shirts that are available in the UK are made from polyester.

As such, you could have a few high quality shirts that you reserve for the days when you walk to work if you are just starting. 

If you plan to walk to work every day, then you could simply  use the good quality shirts for for hot days or days when you are in a rush!

Shoes for Walking to Work

If you feel that your work shoes are not comfortable for walking to work, probably a good investment to simply buy a comfortable pair!

I was wearing brogues for period of time, but I found that they stretched quite quickly and then became really uncomfortable.

I think this was because my feet then started to slide around inside and they felt like clogs rather than shoes for walking in!

Since then, I started to really scrutinising evaluate all the work shoes I buy.

I look at them first from the perspective of comfort, not least because I will be spending at least about 40 hours a week in the shoes! If you turn a regular walk to work, then that time can go up even further.

Hopefully you can start to see the benefits of investing in a good pair of shoes if you are serious about starting to make journeys on foot to your office.

Recently, I’ve come to to find that Clarks offer the most comfortable work shoes for me.

I currently use the Triactive run shoes, largely because these are extremely comfortable and I can get away with them in my semi casual work environment.

They are all in black and and have reflective laces, which is great for making yourself a little bit more visible on your journey as well.

One thing I would suggest is avoiding these new style foam-soled shoes  many of them do not give you any traction on wet or rainy days while walking.

The last thing you want is to buy a new pair of comfortable shoes only to find that you are sleeping all over the place trying to get the office on a wet day!

If you think comfort and practicality first, then I’m sure you will find the great pair of shoes for walking to work in.

Does Walking to Work Make You Sweat a Lot?

In general, walking to work does not make you sweat a lot!

The kind of conditions that will make you sweat if you are a walking computer are hills and rushing, as well as the odd heatwave that we have from time to time in the UK.

Walking Up Hills and Sweating

If your commute to work has some hills, then depending on what you are wearing, this might make you sweat a little bit.

You could also look into to an alternative route cuts out some of the steep hills.

Another problem with walking up hills on your commute is is having a backpack. Just like cycling, you do this kind of activity with a backpack on you are almost certainly going to get a sweat patch form on your back.

The simple way around this is to just take off your backpack while going up the hill. This will keep the air flowing around your back and should avoid the dreaded sweat patch!

Rushing on Your Walk to Work

I know, we’ve all been there, leaving for work 10 to 15 minutes later than the usual time and fretting all the way about getting there on time.

If you do this before walking to work, obviously, you’re more likely to sweat on your journey.

To avoid this, simply try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier tomorrow (yes, I said tomorrow!) and see if you can just get up that bit earlier.

I’ve had a bit of a revelation in terms of my wake up time, going from 730 a few years back to 530 today. 

I never thought that would have been possible but I’ve done it gradually over time and it’s been fantastic.

One of the best things is actually been to help me feel a bit less stressed and hectic when I start my day because of the extra time I have in the mornings before work. 

Walking to Work for Long Journeys

If you think that you live too far away for cannot walk to work, you can send me break your journey down into to different stages.

For instance, you might find that you could park your car a few  blocks away from your work and walk the last part of the gym. Alternatively, if you’re using public transport for your commute, could you get off a stop or two earlier and walk that last leg?

Nobody says you have to walk all the way, remember! Just going a little way on foot should also give you that feeling of satisfaction that you’ve started something that you can continue. 

Related Questions

How far is too far to walk to work?

Anything more than walking 3 miles to work one way is likely to be too far for most people. This is based on the idea that most adults walk at an average speed of just over 3 miles per hour, so meaning that you will likely be walking for one hour if your commute is 3 miles, which is similar to a longer commute in the USA, where the average commuting time is 26.1 minutes.

It should be noted that what is considered ‘too far to walk to work’ depends on your level of physical fitness, the time you have available and how likely you are to be able to complete the walk on a regular basis. 

How long does it take you to walk to work?

A 1-mile walk to work will likely take you around 20 minutes, a 2-mile walk to work will be around 40 minutes, and 3-mile journey will take about 1 hour. This is based on average walking speed of adults to be about 3 miles per hour. That said, you should also allow for things like hills, crossing busy roads, and perhaps wet or icy weather on your route as these will all add extra time to your journey. 

You might also be walking in formal work shoes, which could make things slower, too. The best way to find out how long it will take you to walk to work is to try your journey several times on good weather days and allow more time than you think you need.

A smartphone app like Strava, or a simple stopwatch, could help you to get a clearer picture of your route to plan your time more effectively in future.

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