Benefits of active transportation
Not only will you save money, feel great and be healthy, but you'll be helping the environment and connecting with our local community. Enjoy the growing Active Transportation network in the Central Okanagan and reap the benefits!
Time and money
One way to find more time for the activities you enjoy, such as spending more time with family, getting active or relaxing after a long day, is through active transportation.
- Walking or cycling to school with your kids allows you to fit in some quality family time into your day.
- Try cycling or walking all the way or part way to work as a way to save on gym costs.
- Taking transit or carpooling can give you the opportunity to get some extra work done on the way, or to just sit back and relax.
Using active transportation saves more than just fuel costs. Check out the CAA interactive Driving Costs brochure to calculate the true costs of vehicle ownership.
Regular physical exercise can prevent a wide range of chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, type 2 diabetes, and many more. Even with all the proven health benefits, only 15% of adults are getting the recommended levels of at least 2.5 hours of exercise per week (Statistics Canada).
According to the Canadian Medical Association:
- Brisk walking or cycling just 15 to 20 minutes per day can reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases up to 50%;
- Routine exercise reduces the risk of some cancers (like colon and breast cancer) up to 40%;
- Regular intense physical activity prevents age-related bone loss, and in some specific cases can reverse the effects.
Vehicles have serious impact on our local air and water quality. Vehicle emissions in the Okanagan are responsible for a large portion of air pollutants that are harmful to human health. People with heart or lung conditions, as well as children and the elderly, are most affected by air pollution. Vehicle emissions are also deposited on the ground and wash into our waterways. Emissions are greatest during short trips, making these trips a perfect opportunity to try walking, cycling or transit!
In addition to air pollutants emitted by vehicles, there are also many other ways that vehicles pollute our waterways. Oil, anti-freeze, detergents and other toxins leak onto our roadways and wash directly into streams and lakes through storm drains. Reducing vehicle use is an important way to reduce water pollution. Read the drive smart section to learn how to reduce your impact when you have to drive.
People that regularly use active modes of transportation report a greater sense of community. This is not surprising, since travelling by foot, bicycle or transit takes you out on the street where you can see what is happening in your community and gives you a chance to meet and talk with your neighbours. Travelling by car cuts you off from the rest of your community, while active transportation brings communities together. Read our events page for ideas on how to get active in your neighbourhood!