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Tips for making Active Swaps

Making practical swaps from using the car to using active travel for commuting, school and leisure can have huge benefits on your health and wellbeing, bank account and the environment! 

Benefits of Active Travel:

Walking, wheeling, scooting or cycling can:

  • Save you money on fuel;
  • Help you to meet the NHS-recommended activity goal of 150 minutes per week;
  • Help to lower emissions across our borough;

And much more! 

We know it’s not always easy to break a habit and that’s why we wanted to share our top tips for incorporating active travel into your daily routine where you can:

In our active travel survey conducted in August 2023, one resident told us about their experience of making active swaps in their daily routine:

“I’m now not willing to drive anymore as I love the daily walks, enjoying 25 min of peace and quiet before and after work. It’s my me time daily. If I don’t walk I feel guilty and less relaxed. It’s been the best change ever.”

The Importance of Active Swaps: 

According to the NHS, 150 minutes of light exercise per week can improve your health. Studies have shown that 20 minutes of daily exercise can cut the risk of developing depression by 31%.

Having a lifestyle that is not very active can have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health. 

Try making an active swap to improve your health, wellbeing and air quality in the borough. You might even make some friends along the way!

Preparing for Your First Active Swap: 

Things to Consider

Getting ready to make some active swaps? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Take the Pressure Off: Focus on enjoying the journey and becoming familiar with the routes. As you gain experience, you can become more efficient in your swaps and routines. Walking or cycling is an excellent way to recover from day-to-day stresses.
  • Dress Suitably: Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing. England’s weather is ever-changing, but with the right clothing it can be refreshing to walk through the rain, snow, mud and wind (believe it or not)!
  • Bring a Comfortable Bag. If you're shopping, opt for a Hi-vis and waterproof rucksack. It's more convenient and comfortable than carrying carrier bags.

Simple Ideas for Active Swaps:

Use active travel for short journeys: Find yourself reaching for the car keys when you’re “just nipping out” to the shop? When you factor in the time it takes to find a parking space, walking, wheeling, scooting or cycling for short journeys can be quicker than driving a lot of the time! 

Active travel helps you make the most of the footpaths and shortcuts our borough has to offer and can make sure you beat the traffic jams. Find out more by using our journey planner and viewing our new speed route maps.

  • Walk to Wokingham Market: During British Cuisine Month, why not explore local markets on foot? This not only supports your health but also connects you with the heart of your community.
  • Discover Heritage Sites: Embark on a walking journey to Wokingham's heritage sites. Immerse yourself in history, while staying active.
  • Explore one of the many interesting and historic trails in wokingham, such as the blue plaque trail or virtual museum.
  • Combine Errands: Make your daily shopping an active outing by walking or cycling to nearby stores.
  • Join a Walking Group: Connect with like-minded individuals by joining a local walking group. Share experiences and build a supportive community.
  • Join the 11th annual Wokingham Walk, taking place 23rd October
  • Cycle to Work: Consider joining a cycle-to-work scheme, turning your commute into an energising and eco-friendly experience.
  • Cycle to School Week: Participate in events like Cycle to School Week, encouraging active travel among students and families.
  • Join the Walk to School Week that happens every May.
  • Dementia Friendly Walks: Support a meaningful cause by participating in dementia walks In Wokingham. Active travel contributes to both personal health for those with dementia and their carers. The event takes place every Tuesday at Dinton Pastures. It’s led by trained walk leaders and is suitable for all levels.

Whether it's a leisurely stroll, joining a walking group, or incorporating active travel into your daily tasks, each step you take brings you closer to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. So, let's embark on this journey of active swaps together and make a lasting difference.