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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Reigns2018 on November 09, 2017, 09:28:23 PM

Title: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Reigns2018 on November 09, 2017, 09:28:23 PM
I live pretty close to work (~4 minutes drive). Walking takes 25-30 minutes.

It could get quite cold here in Canada in the winter. Would you take the car or walk?
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: ysette9 on November 09, 2017, 09:57:01 PM
Iím in CA so Iím pretty sure I donít even know what ďcoldĒ means. Doesnít it all come down to wearing the right clothing though? If you have the right gear and arenít risking your life being outdoors, a walk sounds nice to me.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Daisy on November 09, 2017, 10:02:56 PM
I am in Florida so I can't relate, but I'd much rather walk 30 minutes in cold weather than in hot and humid weather and arrive at work all sweaty. The walk sounds lovely to me!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Radagast on November 09, 2017, 10:06:59 PM
I would walk. I walked that distance when I was teaching in Inner Mongolia. Just use stoicism: imagine if you were living in an igloo 1000 years ago and probably 1000 miles farther north.

Iím in CA so Iím pretty sure I donít even know what ďcoldĒ means. Doesnít it all come down to wearing the right clothing though? If you have the right gear and arenít risking your life being outdoors, a walk sounds nice to me.
Cold is SF in the summer.

Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: JLee on November 09, 2017, 10:08:24 PM
For those of you who haven't experienced cold, we're talking the temperature inside your freezer, give or take 40į colder or 20į warmer (F), depending on if it's actually "cold" out or not.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Daisy on November 09, 2017, 10:11:00 PM
For those of you who haven't experienced cold, we're talking the temperature inside your freezer, give or take 40į colder or 20į warmer (F), depending on if it's actually "cold" out or not.

If it's that cold, won't it take that much time for the inside of your car to come to a reasonable temperature?
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: JLee on November 09, 2017, 10:11:35 PM
For those of you who haven't experienced cold, we're talking the temperature inside your freezer, give or take 40į colder or 20į warmer (F), depending on if it's actually "cold" out or not.

If it's that cold, won't it take that much time for the inside of your car to come to a reasonable temperature?

Yep. The key is you're spending four minutes in it instead of 30. :P
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Meesh on November 09, 2017, 10:18:29 PM
DH did. The distance was about like yours and we live in northern Ohio so winters could get pretty low, often in the teens. We bought hats with face masks, gloves, scarves, a rain suit, waterproof backpack etc. That being said... He refused the next year. I value my marriage so we bought a 2nd car. Womp womp. I think its worth trying for a year. He did love the exercise and still walks during nice days or if a car's in the shop.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: okits on November 09, 2017, 10:25:59 PM
If the sidewalks are clear (minimal slip or fall risk) and it's -15C or warmer, I'd consider those acceptable walking conditions.  Bundle up, enjoy the money-saving exercise!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: JLee on November 09, 2017, 10:31:08 PM
DH did. The distance was about like yours and we live in northern Ohio so winters could get pretty low, often in the teens. We bought hats with face masks, gloves, scarves, a rain suit, waterproof backpack etc. That being said... He refused the next year. I value my marriage so we bought a 2nd car. Womp womp. I think its worth trying for a year. He did love the exercise and still walks during nice days or if a car's in the shop.

After I started dating a Canadian, I learned that C and F are the same at -40.  Calgary has sub-zero (F) lows forecast next week (next Thursday has a high of 6įF), and we're not even to December yet  x.x

It's certainly possible, but I despise cold so it's not for me!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MBot on November 09, 2017, 10:58:56 PM
In Northern Ontario.  I'll walk until it's colder than -15 Celsius. My walk to work was 15-20 min until construction forced an alternate 20-30 minute route. So I say GO FOR IT! Just wear good mitts and a good hat and scarf. And if you have to carry a bag make it ergonomic like a backpack.

today was a snow storm and the walk was amazing. Temps not too low and I had no worries about all the driving hassles people were experiencing. Got home with a good stretch and adrenaline
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: seattlecyclone on November 10, 2017, 12:45:32 AM
A 30-minute walk in the winter cold sounds pretty similar to my grad school commute. Parking on campus was expensive. Walking worked out fine. I didn't die or even get frostbite.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: BDWW on November 10, 2017, 12:48:25 AM
I went without a car for a year, it was fine*. ~1.5 miles to work. It regularly hits -20F (-29C) here for a few weeks in Dec/Jan, occasionally down to about -40.  It was fine if you dress appropriately. Most of the time I would start shedding clothes after a few minutes, as I warmed up. I learned that I had to take my coat off and stand outside for a few minutes to cool down before going into work or someone's house because it would feel like walking into a furnace.

*I may be a bit of an anomaly. My "winter" jacket hasn't been out of the closet in years, I just wear a hoodie in the winter/aforementioned weather.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: EarthSurfer on November 10, 2017, 03:28:30 AM
I have lived and worked in the Frazier Valley in Colorado through two winters as a ski patroller in the mid-1990s when January nights would touch -40į.

If you find joy in the challenge, and if your life allows for the extra ~40 minutes a day, go for it! Even on long days of working outside, I enjoyed the relaxing walk. It also minimized the wear and tear on my old 4wd vehicle.

For me, there is some magic in walking that helps both mentally and physically. Even in harsh conditions, walking has an antidepressant effect on me. (As does cycling) The effect is most pronounced if I do not listen to music, news, or audiobook for the first 10-15 minutes.

Finally, if you are trying to get a little leaner, good cold exposure can help ramp up the metabolism early in the day. Just watch out for the boomerang effect in the warmer spring months!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: jambongris on November 10, 2017, 06:22:39 AM
I live in Ottawa and have been walking to work for 7 years now, year round. We've also been walking our kids to daycare, with them in a stroller, year round for much of that time. I say go for it.

As long as you dress appropriately it's quite enjoyable. Buy a pair of good pair of winter boots and layer clothing as required. I'd much rather be outside, walking to work, than sitting still in a frozen car in the parking lot waiting for the car to warm up. It's especially enjoyable when I'm moving faster than the gridlocked cars in the street. I'll usually make a mental note of a car that's near me when I reach the main drag and then see how far ahead of it I can get by the end of my walk.

The only issue I've ever had is getting your feet wet when there are still puddles on the ground or when the snow is really deep and wet. This is why a good set of boots is key.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Caoineag on November 10, 2017, 07:05:00 AM
I have done this in a place farther north than most Canadians live. We regularly were told not to go outside for too long as it would risk lung damage. I know that the sound of snow crunching changes at a certain temperature and at another temperature your nostrils attempt to freeze close with each breath. Where the right clothes (layers), breathe through a scarf so you don't damage your lungs and you will have no problems.

In fact, interesting side effect. My body is much better at protecting itself from the cold that it used to be as a result of this. My hands actually produce heat so even a decade later, there was positive changes from doing this (course I still have done the 30 minute walks in the cold, it just doesn't get as cold here as my previous location).
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: elaine amj on November 10, 2017, 08:25:12 AM
Last winter I would walk the 1.5 hours (each way) to work when it was too icy to bike. I think the coldest I dealt with was -20C (or -4F). What i found worked like a charm was TWO thermal baselayers + wool sweater + warm winter coat + hat, gloves & good quality (mine is cashmere) scarf. You want to start out feeling slightly cool. Then about 15 mins later, you'll be at about the right temperature.

Today was -5C (41F) and I ended up dressing too warm and was hot on my bike ride to work.

Last winter was my first winter actually bike/walk commuting to work and I discovered I really enjoyed the challenge :) I'm going to do it again this winter although if necessary, I'll drive.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: ketchup on November 10, 2017, 09:00:25 AM
I'd do it.  Just dress properly.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Zikoris on November 10, 2017, 09:39:53 AM
When I was a teenager, I walked about 20 minutes each way to my part time job in -30 to -40C. Later I lived in Alberta and walked about 30 minutes to school in -20 to -30C. I actually tried biking in Alberta, but the snow was too deep for me and I didn't have the money to get a proper winter bike, so I walked instead. Just have to bundle up. I actually find the rainy dreary Vancouver winters more unpleasant.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: meghan88 on November 10, 2017, 09:50:41 AM
My walk to work is about the same as yours, and I do it on the few days when biking seems less than feasible.  You'll be toasty-warm and peeling off the layers by the time you get to where you're going. 
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: NinetyFour on November 10, 2017, 09:59:42 AM
Absolutely.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: acroy on November 10, 2017, 10:00:49 AM
Walking is awesome, I would at least try it!
I also, do not know what true 'cold' is!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: forumname123 on November 10, 2017, 10:02:58 AM
I am in Florida so I can't relate, but I'd much rather walk 30 minutes in cold weather than in hot and humid weather and arrive at work all sweaty. The walk sounds lovely to me!

You know not of what you speak. I've experienced the extremes of both and the heat sucks, but the cold is physically painful in ways you can't imagine.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: toganet on November 10, 2017, 10:11:26 AM
I would do it, assuming there is a pedestrian-safe way to do so.  I live in Buffalo, NY and I did this myself for a while, though admittedly not every day.  My walk took about 40 minutes, and I enjoyed having some quiet time to clear my head and prepare for the day.  Weather was a factor sometimes in deciding to drive -- though more often it was how late I was running :)

I biked this same distance in good weather (ie, not icy or below 45) but never tried in the winter.  Plenty of coworkers did, though, and said it was just a matter of good tires and wind-proof riding gear.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: GuitarStv on November 10, 2017, 10:18:54 AM
I bike to work (20 km, about 40 - 45 minutes each way) all winter long.  So  . . . yeah.  There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.  As long as you've got warm boots, a warm jacket, hat and gloves you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Helvegen on November 10, 2017, 10:19:35 AM
I am in Florida so I can't relate, but I'd much rather walk 30 minutes in cold weather than in hot and humid weather and arrive at work all sweaty. The walk sounds lovely to me!

You know not of what you speak. I've experienced the extremes of both and the heat sucks, but the cold is physically painful in ways you can't imagine.

I have Raynaud's syndrome. My fingernails regularly turn blue just sitting in a cool room and my whole hands white and numb when exposed to sub 40F temps. Exposing them to cold, even rearranging food in the freezer triggers a painful attack. Gloves do absolutely nothing. I have never found a gloves that can keep my already cold hands warm. They just go numb after a painful initial exposure period and not in a good way. Once the good circulation returns it also is very uncomfortable. My hands swell where it is difficult to move my fingers at all. Only thing that can really be done is avoid cold.

People can stink just as much after exertion in the cold as the heat. It is a different kind of stink, but still stinks for sure.

I like walking for sure, but I wouldn't do it in severe conditions just to save a buck. Screw that.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Daisy on November 10, 2017, 10:20:23 AM
I am in Florida so I can't relate, but I'd much rather walk 30 minutes in cold weather than in hot and humid weather and arrive at work all sweaty. The walk sounds lovely to me!

You know not of what you speak. I've experienced the extremes of both and the heat sucks, but the cold is physically painful in ways you can't imagine.

Again, I am from Florida, so it's quite possible I know not of what I speak. I can say, from experience, that I would not walk in to a professional work environment during a Florida summer.

I used to go to Chicago occasionally  on work trips. I usually stayed at the hotel across the street from work and found the walk to work across the street quite lovely in the fall, summer, and spring months. But one year I went there in January in -5F weather, and it is true that I found myself driving across the street. Even walking from the work parking lot in to the office had me feel a chill so deep in my bones that it was hard to bear. I would cover my face with my gloved hands. I figured it was my wimpy Florida blood that couldn't handle it.

I am (pretty) sure that negative Fahrenheit temperatures don't happen EVERY day in the winter, so maybe the OP can choose to drive on those few days the weather is unbearable.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: BrakeForTurtles on November 10, 2017, 10:32:52 AM
When I first moved to Quebec City from Australia, I decided to skip getting the monthly bus pass and walked to university instead, which was about 45-50 min (4.8 km) each way. I loved it! Partly because of the novelty, with everything being so beautiful in the snow. It was also such a nice refreshing start to my day. I did it all winter, though I definitely had my limits. If it was under -25C with a headwind I would get the bus, which I think ended up happening maybe once every week or two. If your city goes through freeze-thaw cycles or gets freezing rain, I would recommend crampons (like the YakTrak things that slip over your shoes). Layering up is vital, and an outer layer with vents is super useful for when you do heat up a bit. I think 30 minutes is the perfect length of time to walk, just enough that you warm up and it's still a convenient commute length.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: misshathaway on November 10, 2017, 10:39:02 AM
I live pretty close to work (~4 minutes drive). Walking takes 25-30 minutes.

It could get quite cold here in Canada in the winter. Would you take the car or walk?

I walked every lunchtime for 40 minutes and 10 minutes twice to the remote parking lot. This was in New England where there are some single-digit Farenheit days without factoring in wind chill. If you don't mind looking like a dork you can completely protect yourself from the cold with underlayers, insulated socks, face mask, scarf, good insulated mittens and a coat with a vest inside it. My coat was so heavy it would tip over the coat stand. My work was always cold so I could keep the underlayers on. Even with wind chill I was always comfortable inside my shield of clothes. It was the ice that was more of a problem and you can buy cleats for that.

The benefit, at least for me, was that I was completely energized after the lunchtime walk and sometimes I had the answer to a work problem even though I hadn't been consciously thinking about it.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Hirondelle on November 10, 2017, 11:26:57 AM
Why not bike? Up to -20C I'd keep biking (would reduce the 30 min walk to 10 min bike ride so less exposure to the cold). Unless there's too much snow/ice and streets aren't clear, then I'd walk.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Cassie on November 10, 2017, 11:43:45 AM

When I lived in WI I walked 30 minutes everyday unless it was colder then -20.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Caoineag on November 10, 2017, 12:11:45 PM
...

I have Raynaud's syndrome. My fingernails regularly turn blue just sitting in a cool room and my whole hands white and numb when exposed to sub 40F temps. Exposing them to cold, even rearranging food in the freezer triggers a painful attack. Gloves do absolutely nothing. I have never found a gloves that can keep my already cold hands warm. They just go numb after a painful initial exposure period and not in a good way. Once the good circulation returns it also is very uncomfortable. My hands swell where it is difficult to move my fingers at all. Only thing that can really be done is avoid cold.

People can stink just as much after exertion in the cold as the heat. It is a different kind of stink, but still stinks for sure.

I like walking for sure, but I wouldn't do it in severe conditions just to save a buck. Screw that.

I learned a long time ago, I couldn't touch anything cold in the cold (this would make them numb within 30 seconds) and I couldn't (still can't) where gloves. When my hands warmed back up, they would swell and scream with pain. I still let me husband retrieve cold things from the freezer. When I walk in the cold, I keep my hands balled up and in my coat pockets. That keeps them from ever getting cold which like you I consider very important to avoid. Wearing the right jacket can make a world of difference.

Raynaud's is nasty though so you would probably need hand warmers (they have rechargeable USB ones nowadays) in your pockets to be safe. I am not sure this is all to save a buck however. When I lived somewhere that cold, starting your car required 10 minutes in advance minimum, it still wasn't warm at that point and a short drive like that would kill your vehicle (because it never warmed up). It was faster/easier for me to walk then to go through all that because I still needed to be bundled up.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Aunt Petunia on November 10, 2017, 12:14:29 PM
I live in MN and do it all the time. Temperature can get as low as -30F where I live. I find it easier to keep warm while walking than biking, especially my hands and face. Just make sure to dress warmly, and don't get into a hot shower as soon as you get home.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: mm1970 on November 10, 2017, 12:16:11 PM
 I grew up in a cold area, went to college in a cold area (Pittsburgh), and lived in DC for 5 years.

I walked to class in the cold in college, and walked to work in DC when it was so cold that my hair would break in half if I wasn't careful (Because I never dried my hair before going to work).

However, it was never that long.  At most, 15 minutes to the train station.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 10, 2017, 12:20:26 PM
Yes, I would and done so often. If you brisk walk you stay warm. I used to walk 45 min to work. I dressed in sportsgear and changed to normal clothes at work. Shower was not necessary.
I do not like walking when there is froozen rain. But normal crisp winter road goes fine. Make sure you put on many reflexes. Also get some spike soles or spike shoes.
Now I live further away from work and it takes 70 min to walk in summer and longer in the winter. So it is not often that I have enough time to walk.

When it really cold, like -20C or colder, then it can be very cold for your lungs. I can recommend using a device in Norwegian called lungplus. It lets tou warm up the air you breath in with the air you breath out. This helps a lot for getting warmer breath.
I must say that -24C has been the lowest temp for me to go cross country skiing. I prefer a bit warmer temperatures. -15C or so would be fine for me for being active outside.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: elaine amj on November 10, 2017, 12:28:14 PM
It was the ice that was more of a problem and you can buy cleats for that.


Inspired by this, i'm going to buy some cleats for my hiking boots this winter :) There are some slipper sidewalks and I really don't want to risk a fall. The big question is where to find good cleats that are comfortable enough for a 1.5hr walk each way.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 10, 2017, 12:34:01 PM
I grew up in a cold area, went to college in a cold area (Pittsburgh), and lived in DC for 5 years.

I walked to class in the cold in college, and walked to work in DC when it was so cold that my hair would break in half if I wasn't careful (Because I never dried my hair before going to work).

However, it was never that long.  At most, 15 minutes to the train station.

I used to walk 15 minutes to the train station for 15 years or so. When it was colder than -8C, I put rain trousers over my normal job trousers. That would help a lot to stay warm, especially because it held the wind out and created an extra layer. Mitten were also much better than gloves. Amd shoes with thick soles.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MrGville on November 10, 2017, 12:36:46 PM
I would drive...but I don't enjoy being in the cold for too long.  And unless you're planning on selling your car because you are going to stop walking to work, driving ~8 minutes a day isn't going to materially affect your FIRE plans.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: frugaliknowit on November 10, 2017, 01:15:32 PM
Assuming one dresses accordingly (including covering one's head and ears), the temperature is quite irrelevant.

Of course, walk!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MaaS on November 10, 2017, 01:18:03 PM
Unless parking costs are ridiculous, or you're after health benefits, I don't see how this is a logical trade off.

An hour per day vs 8 minutes, a 52 minute difference.

My estimate is this saves $80/month. That's a pretty poor ROI for 17 extra hours per month.

We can quibble on the numbers, but pretty much anyone with internet access can monetize their time and make much more than that.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: never give up on November 10, 2017, 01:19:04 PM
I cycle to work most days but when itís icy I walk to work and it takes about an hour. The right clothing is key as others have mentioned.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: ACyclist on November 10, 2017, 01:24:26 PM
I have walked when the snow was not ideal to ski to work, but the roads and routes were too dangerous to bike.  It takes me an hour to walk to work.  It's about 2.5 miles to get there.  The only thing that made me mad was that one of my Yak trax came off and I lost it in a snow berm.  That made me sooo mad. 

My ski to work is pretty legit.  I have to take my skiis off to cross certain streets, but I can connect to a greenway with a protected bike path almost all the way to work. The ski home is kinda dark.  That can be troublesome in itself.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Pigeon on November 10, 2017, 02:21:35 PM
It depends.  I'm in the northeast and we get a pretty cold, snowy winter.  I like walking when it's moderately cold, still and dry.  Wind makes a huge difference.  There are no sidewalks pretty much anywhere near me and I don't want to walk in the road when it's snowing hard.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: RidetheRain on November 10, 2017, 02:38:23 PM
Depends. I used to walk twenty minutes to school in the snow in Indiana. It was less cold and more icy/hilly which isn't a fun combo. I managed to walk on grass and stuff most of the time to keep away from ice which would have changed my opinion. I walked twenty-five minutes in Europe to work, but it is again not too cold. They were better about putting salt and stuff down so I was comfortable on the streets. I grew up in northern Wisconsin (not day-trip to Canada, but definitely weekend-trip) and never had to walk that far, but I doubt I would've had too much trouble with it.

I would do a trial. I'm guessing you won't feel the cold as some people might imagine since owning a good coat and moving around will probably make you hot. I would check your route, make sure people drive sensibly, and consider the time of day you will need to be out. Walking around in the snow after dark isn't ideal as a daily thing.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: With This Herring on November 10, 2017, 02:40:55 PM
If you have a cleared route (no big piles of snow in your way, minimal black ice), go for it in weather-appropriate clothing.  Windbreaking gear will be important.  I've done half-hour walks at -20F (-29C), and it does help to have a scarf up to just under your eyes and a hat that covers your eyebrows.  If I were to go back in time, I'd see about ski goggles or something to protect my eyelids.

Also, if you are walking out any time but broad daylight, please wear a reflective vest!  I picked one up for $5 or so.  It slips on over my dark coat and makes me WAY more visible to cars if I am at a crosswalk.  I see all these people wearing all dark clothes in the evening and walking on the road's shoulder, and I worry they'll get hit because they are effectively invisible until the last minute.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: KelStache on November 10, 2017, 02:43:13 PM
I agree with walking! Not only mustachian, but good for your health as well :)

I also live in a very cold part of Canada, and walk about 10-15 minutes to/from work 4 times a day (I go usually go home for lunch).

Good footwear, warm clothing, and a scarf are key! I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant and plan to keep it up until maternity leave :)
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: I'm a red panda on November 10, 2017, 02:44:16 PM
I would.
Only because at my previous job the parking lot was a 20 minute walk from my building (in the summer) that easily became 25-30 minutes in the winter climbing over snow piles and going through icey spots, and that was the closest I could get to the building.

I will say that when it reached below -35F (-37C) windchill, I had someone drive me and drop me off at the building. That happens about 5 days a year. So if the cold you are talking about is routinely colder than that, then I would say no.  Usually we are talking about just a bit below 0F (-17C) in the mornings, or even slightly warmer.

I did fall multiple times as sidewalks were never cleared well. If falling is a large injury concern for you, reconsider walking in the winter.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: KelStache on November 10, 2017, 02:45:43 PM
Unless parking costs are ridiculous, or you're after health benefits, I don't see how this is a logical trade off.

An hour per day vs 8 minutes, a 52 minute difference.

My estimate is this saves $80/month. That's a pretty poor ROI for 17 extra hours per month.

We can quibble on the numbers, but pretty much anyone with internet access can monetize their time and make much more than that.

Except you're not just throwing away that time, you're getting exercise, which should be done whether you drive or not.  I double up and listen to podcasts or audiobooks on my walk, so it's relaxation/downtime too :)
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: omachi on November 10, 2017, 02:46:13 PM
I live in MN and do it all the time. Temperature can get as low as -30F where I live. I find it easier to keep warm while walking than biking, especially my hands and face. Just make sure to dress warmly, and don't get into a hot shower as soon as you get home.

More MN checking in. Throw on a hat and jacket; you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Ocinfo on November 10, 2017, 02:54:05 PM
Down to around 20 degrees assuming light wind, sure. In college, I used to do 20-30 minute walks in winter (big Midwest school) and with appropriate clothes (as appropriate as possible given the need to quickly go from work to car to walking to classroom and often limited space at a small desk). I was often slightly frozen for the first 15 minutes of class and hands took a while to be able to easily write.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: elaine amj on November 10, 2017, 02:55:36 PM
Unless parking costs are ridiculous, or you're after health benefits, I don't see how this is a logical trade off.

An hour per day vs 8 minutes, a 52 minute difference.

My estimate is this saves $80/month. That's a pretty poor ROI for 17 extra hours per month.

We can quibble on the numbers, but pretty much anyone with internet access can monetize their time and make much more than that.

Keeps me in a Mustachian mindset, gets me daily exercise (so hard for me to work up the motivation otherwise) plus it becomes a habit very easily. Since I switched to bike (with occasional walking) commuting, it's made a big difference our use of our cars. We now walk/bike to the bank, the store, etc etc. It all adds up! Plus, after you actually get going, it feels good and never actually feels miserable (well super windy, pouring rain days aren't as much fun - but sure boosts my ego knowing I didn't melt in the rain). Nowadays I tend to grumble when I have to use my car to get places.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Cranky on November 10, 2017, 03:05:36 PM
I walk to work all  winter in NE Ohio, and we walk for fun every weekend all winter. My kids walked 1.5 miles home from school every day, all winter.

If youíve got good gear you warm up pretty fast. The biggest think is to have good stuff for your hands and feet.

However, I donít love walking when itís icy, and I do not like clambering over snow banks left by the plows or when I have to navigate an unshoveled walkway. So I am fine with the cold, but I donít walk for fun if itís really snowy (though I still walk the 3 blocks to work.)

I also grew up in Florida and walked 2 miles home from jr./sr. High school every day.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: tthree on November 10, 2017, 08:45:33 PM
When I lived within walking distance to work I walked almost everyday.  (And I live in SK).  To make the walk significantly shorter I had to take a short-cut through the park which involved trudging through snow banks.  I was the best part of my day:)  The few times I was lazy and drove I realized this actually took more time, as I would have to warm up my car, brush all the snow off, potentially shovel a path.....walking is easier.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: obstinate on November 11, 2017, 07:55:06 AM
NYC here. It doesn't get quite as cold as Canada, but it can be chilly. I have no choice but to walk, since I own no car.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MrsPete on November 11, 2017, 09:14:59 AM
No.  I would not walk 30 minutes in the Canadian winter.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: undercover on November 11, 2017, 10:36:02 AM
As others have said already - if you're doing it to save money, there's no point. Not only is the money saved insignificant, it's significantly faster to drive and be comfortably warm.

If you're doing it to get a bit of exercise in - that's fine. But the only amount of exercise that's necessary for health is 20 minutes of moderate activity a day.

Clearly, being out in the cold won't kill you, but it won't win you any awards either. Not worth it to me to be out in the cold for an hour when the savings and the gains are insignificant.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Meesh on November 11, 2017, 11:47:11 AM
I'm not sure I agree that it does not save money. When DH walked we only needed one car, so we saved massively.

On the plus side of a 4 minute drive is he comes home most days now for lunch, eats and plays with the kiddo for a few minutes. Fun but not needed. I'd prefer he walk.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: BrakeForTurtles on November 11, 2017, 11:58:55 AM
I disagree that it doesn't save money. I have access to a car but I assume I don't, because my default option is to walk or bike *everywhere*. It's amazing how creative your brain can get when you don't just automatically drive. All these smaller trips add up to cost savings as well, and I think walking to work triggers the mental shift away from reliance.

The mental stimulation from walking is really valuable, as is working fitness into your daily routine. When I was walking about 10 km (6.5 miles) round trip every day I unintentionally lost 20 pounds over a few months.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: rubybeth on November 11, 2017, 12:10:54 PM
I live in MN and do it all the time. Temperature can get as low as -30F where I live. I find it easier to keep warm while walking than biking, especially my hands and face. Just make sure to dress warmly, and don't get into a hot shower as soon as you get home.

More MN checking in. Throw on a hat and jacket; you'll be fine.

Third Minnesotan here. I walk daily about 1 mile to work. I wear appropriate clothing for walking (base layers, normal layers, extra layers), but I have learned my limit is -10 (air temp or temp with wind chill). Anything below that, and my husband worries about me, so last winter when it was actually that cold in the mornings, my husband gave me a ride to work and I walked home when it was warmer (sunlight helps a lot--I usually get work between 7:00-7:30am and it's dark then).

I would suggest trying it when it's still relatively nice out, and finding out what your limit is. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn your limit is 0 or something, and then you have an easy determination every morning for whether or not you can do it that day.

For me, it's not so much about the savings--I mean, for me, it would be a 5 minute drive, but I'd also have to scrape my car for frost or clear snow, which adds time and nuisance factor. For me, it's more about the exercise and it helps me wake up mentally, and I find walking to be relatively warm--I walk at a brisk pace.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Laserjet3051 on November 11, 2017, 12:29:06 PM
Yes, you should. I have lived in the brutal snow-blasted frozen north, so I speak from experience.

But it doesnt have to black and white. Walk when you can/feel like it; drive other times.

With the right clothing, you should feel warm n' toasty even in -20įF weather with high winds, blowing snow, or driving freezing rains.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Cranky on November 11, 2017, 03:16:09 PM
When it gets below 0F, it does hurt my breathing, so I donít go out for fun. I scurry out when I need to, but I donít dawdle.

Weíve always just had the one car, so Iíve always planned around the fact that during the week Iíll be walking, but I like walking, for the most part. (My knees are not what they used to be.)
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Inaya on November 11, 2017, 03:50:07 PM
I had a 20 minute walk to the train station in Chicago during one of the "Chiberia" winters when the Polar Vortex decided to come visit a couple of times. Several times in the single digit negatives (F) with wind off the lake. It was not my favorite thing, but tolerable--honestly sitting on the train was more miserable. I was born and raised in New Mexico, so super cold winters were pretty foreign to me until my late 20s when I moved to Chicago.

Uggs with thermal socks. Long underwear under slacks or jeans. At least two layers under winter coat with hood. Warm scarf wrapped around mouth and nose (it hurts to breathe when it's that cold unless you breathe through something). Warm hat and gloves. One thing that made the most difference (and was a huge surprise) was the fur lining on the hood of my coat. It cuts the wind down to almost nothing as long as you're not walking directly into a headwind.

My biggest problem is my eyes water really badly when it's cold, so when it gets to the single digits my eyes can freeze shut.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MrThatsDifferent on November 11, 2017, 04:28:35 PM
I grew up in a cold area, went to college in a cold area (Pittsburgh), and lived in DC for 5 years.

I walked to class in the cold in college, and walked to work in DC when it was so cold that my hair would break in half if I wasn't careful (Because I never dried my hair before going to work).

However, it was never that long.  At most, 15 minutes to the train station.

So funny, my first thought was, hell no! Then I was like, well, it depends how cold it gets. I just walked all winter but itís not like Canada winter. Then I remembered that as a kid and teen, I grew up in cold winters and walked 10-15 min to school every day. As people have said, 30 min is perfect to get your heart rate going, warm up your body, burn some calioties and probably still get to work around the same time. I have no idea how you wouldnít sweat though, especially if you have layers. If you have a shower at work, thatís ideal.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Christof on November 11, 2017, 05:04:13 PM
Unless parking costs are ridiculous, or you're after health benefits, I don't see how this is a logical trade off.

An hour per day vs 8 minutes, a 52 minute difference.

My estimate is this saves $80/month. That's a pretty poor ROI for 17 extra hours per month.

We can quibble on the numbers, but pretty much anyone with internet access can monetize their time and make much more than that.

"We choose to go to the Moon! ...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills"

-- President Kennedy

Sometimes it doesn't have to be simply for saving money or health benefits. Overcoming ones own resistance can be a huge motivation by itself that impacts almost everything else.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: undercover on November 11, 2017, 08:04:48 PM
Last I checked Elon Musk is trying to go to Mars and still drives to work everyday in 70 degree weather :P Yes, I get what you're saying...it's just the two ideas aren't really related. You can drive hours a day and still kick ass in other ways. Driving or not driving or making yourself miserable in other ways isn't going to automatically make you a badass. Of course, if you enjoy the walk then by all means do it. OP just needs to try and see what works for them.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: remizidae on November 11, 2017, 08:29:32 PM
An hour of exercise a day is recommended to avoid obesity. You have a great opportunity to get that exercise as part of your daily routine with very little extra effort. As a Canadian, you probably already have a decent coat, hat, gloves, and boots--plus once you get going you'll get warmer. Do it!!!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: katscratch on November 11, 2017, 09:50:56 PM
I've biked in winter, driven, and taken transit. I'd much rather walk than any of those but my commute is about 11 miles. I dislike waiting at train/bus stops without moving. I dislike being in a cold car. I like biking because I'm warm after 15 seconds and it's just plain fun, but my lungs can't handle the full commute (hills) below about 25F, even with a face mask. I love walking because I stay warm and don't have the wind factor that I do cycling.

Our bodies and how we handle temperature is so individual. On group bicycle rides during the winter I have a million layers on including around my face, whereas some of my friends just add a hat and a base layer. I say just try it! You'll figure out pretty quickly which weather conditions aren't going to work for you - or maybe all the days do and next thing you know it's springtime and you get to notice all the flowers poking through snow.

I do agree with wearing a reflective vest - when I walk my dog or to the grocery store in winter, I wear a vest and my bike taillight on solid. As a driver, I've noticed that it's impossible to see pedestrians on most side streets during winter.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 12, 2017, 01:46:01 AM
When it gets below 0F, it does hurt my breathing, so I donít go out for fun. I scurry out when I need to, but I donít dawdle.

Try such a device. This helps a LOT.

https://www.skistart.com/eng/lung-plus-humidity-heat-exchanger.html

My DH has gotten cold allergy, which means he gets trouble breething when it is reaaly cold. But with this device he can go cross country skiing even in cold temperatures.

Only downside is that some saliva will leak out of the front. So you'll need to wear sports clothes and change to normal clothes at arrival.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Cashonda on November 13, 2017, 04:45:35 PM
I agree with the others, a walk could  be a nice way to start and end the day. But indeed it would depend on the safety of the walk. If it is slippery or there isnt a good place to walk away from traffic then I might not be so keen.

I walked to work daily in California, the weather was always rather nice but the safety of the streets can be questionable - especially when it is dark. When working late my boss would always drive me home as she thought I was insane to walk. Which was actually pretty nice of her!

Where I live now is quite rainy. It's just water, but sometimes you just dont want to get wet and the thought of walking or biking is annoying. I dont have an option though except to stay indoors haha.

To be honest in a canadian winter I'd probably plan to walk and sometimes be lazy and drive on a particularly crappy day if I had the option.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: GuitarStv on November 13, 2017, 05:58:35 PM
Walking around when it's a tremendous blizzard with wind whipping around and snow blasting from all directions is actually pretty fun.  It's also the worst type of weather to have to drive somewhere.  You've got fogged up/iced up windows, there are always accidents on the road to avoid, traffic is moving at a crawl.  Get back in touch with your inner childish sense of wonder at how cool nature is, and get out of your frustrating adult misery steel cage!
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: CanuckExpat on November 13, 2017, 07:26:18 PM
I love walking, and given the choice it is my favourite way of commuting to work (even better than biking), it is really good about clearing your mind, and helping you solve work problems.

A 30 minute walk to work in a Canadian winter was exactly a good part of my grad school commute actually.

And if anyone thinks you spending an hour walking a day is a bad use of time: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo)


Good boots, good gloves and/or mittens, and good long underwear if needed and you are set for anything
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: MBot on November 13, 2017, 07:53:59 PM
Unless parking costs are ridiculous, or you're after health benefits, I don't see how this is a logical trade off.

An hour per day vs 8 minutes, a 52 minute difference.

My estimate is this saves $80/month. That's a pretty poor ROI for 17 extra hours per month.

We can quibble on the numbers, but pretty much anyone with internet access can monetize their time and make much more than that.

If you look at it as part of your daily cardio time or to loosen up your muscles after work it's a pretty efficient use of time. For me it clears my head and is also a way to stay fit and burn calories. I find it really helps me stretch out after being hunched over scanning patients in ultrasound all day.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: sol on November 13, 2017, 08:11:21 PM
I walked 25 minutes to work for years and years.  Year round.  I came to really appreciate having a few quiet minutes to myself every day, and the light exercise doesn't hurt either.  One down side: you sure do wear through shoes a lot faster.

The only time it was ever really unpleasant was during heavy rain.  Snow and cold are pretty easy to deal with by dressing right, but driving rain is annoying.  You need a hat with a really big brim, and a good water proof jacket with a big hood.  Rain pants are cheap and easy, so really it's just the face that you have to worry about.

But in more moderate weather, I actually preferred walking to riding my bike even though it takes longer.  Riding is exercise.  Walking is relaxing.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: ElleFiji on November 13, 2017, 09:02:04 PM
Yes, absolutely. I end up walking more than that when I take the bus. For extreme weather or ill health I can add extra buses that slow me down.

Pouring rain or -20c or something. We had a -17 windchill already. It was a beautiful day. Keep your feet that warm.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Brother Esau on November 15, 2017, 04:37:34 PM
Assuming one dresses accordingly (including covering one's head and ears), the temperature is quite irrelevant.

Of course, walk!

exactly! I've camped in negative temps and have been totally comfy. It's all about the gear.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Tabitha on November 16, 2017, 11:53:10 AM
It started with a bus strike and continued for years because I came to enjoy it. I lost weight and felt great. The walk took ~55 minutes in winter and 45 minutes in summer. I came to despise businesses (usually auto servicing) that didn't clear their section of sidewalk. Dress appropriately and Go for it.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: SisterX on November 16, 2017, 04:58:29 PM
To the OP: I did that during Fairbanks winters for 6 years, and wrote part of the MMM post about "the oil well you keep in your pants". It's perfectly doable and even fun. Dress in layers and get out there.

Oh, and avoid the moose if at all possible. Those bastards are scary when you come across them unexpectedly.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: pecunia on November 16, 2017, 06:17:43 PM
I would do it and I would probably enjoy it.  I grew up a ways about due East of Duluth.  Wear footware that will keep you from slipping on ice.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: Linea_Norway on November 17, 2017, 06:47:15 AM
I would do it and I would probably enjoy it.  I grew up a ways about due East of Duluth.  Wear footware that will keep you from slipping on ice.

I am having a day off today and walked a couple of kms, wearing sports shoes with spikes. It went well all places where there was no solid ice. I could even hold a decent pace, which is challenging when it is slippery.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: toganet on December 27, 2017, 07:53:33 AM

My deep freeze system:
-Ice Breaker merino base layer and socks
-fleece lined leggings (Costco)
-thicker Ice Breaker zip-up layer
-thick fleece layer (Colombia)
-down insulating layer (MEC)
-wind proof, lightly insulated, gore-Tex type top layer with venting zippers (Patagonia)
-thick wind proof ski mittens, with thin merino wool gloves underneath
-fleece balaklava
-thick merino wool hat (not really necessary if wearing down hood)
-ski goggles if itís super windy
-snow pants optional, esp if itís slushy (MEC)
-Saucony winter gore-tex running shoes

I just wanted to chime and say that I use an almost identical gear setup (different brands in some cases, but equivalent) here in the Buffalo, NY area for outdoor hiking and walking for exercise.  When I worked closer to home I used a similar setup for walking in (when time permitted). 
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: toganet on December 27, 2017, 08:25:53 AM

My deep freeze system:
-Ice Breaker merino base layer and socks
-fleece lined leggings (Costco)
-thicker Ice Breaker zip-up layer
-thick fleece layer (Colombia)
-down insulating layer (MEC)
-wind proof, lightly insulated, gore-Tex type top layer with venting zippers (Patagonia)
-thick wind proof ski mittens, with thin merino wool gloves underneath
-fleece balaklava
-thick merino wool hat (not really necessary if wearing down hood)
-ski goggles if itís super windy
-snow pants optional, esp if itís slushy (MEC)
-Saucony winter gore-tex running shoes

I just wanted to chime and say that I use an almost identical gear setup (different brands in some cases, but equivalent) here in the Buffalo, NY area for outdoor hiking and walking for exercise.  When I worked closer to home I used a similar setup for walking in (when time permitted).

I used to be a total whiney-pants winter-loser who complained endlessly about the cold and decided that my various ailments justified it, but then when I started working and actually having money, I decided to invest in whatever gear I needed to be able to cope.

I did endless research on the warmest winter coats and resigned myself to spending $1000 on a Canada Goose coat if necessary, but my research showed me that layers are much better than single-unit coats, and I find layers provide much less restricted movement. I hate that stiff ski-jacket feel of huge coats.

Now I feel like winter has no power over me. I often marvel that I canít believe how miserable I used to let the weather make me feel.

I actually prefer winter now because i find layering up less tedious than slathering on sunscreen in order to leave the house.

Heh, I always joke that the cold weather is preferable to hot, because you an always add more layers.  When it's hot you quickly run out of layers to remove :)
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: GuitarStv on December 28, 2017, 09:15:06 AM
I went for a nice jog at -30 the day after Christmas.  Having the right clothing makes a difference.  :P
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: scottish on December 28, 2017, 01:06:33 PM
hah, me too.   There wasn't much wind, so it was pretty nice.   

I would love to be able to walk to work in 20 or 30 minutes, even in this deep freeze it would be much better than driving.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: chouchouu on December 28, 2017, 06:26:51 PM
I would walk. That was around how long I walked to work when I lived in Hokkaido and worked at a ski resort. I did get mild frost bite but that was from my actual office because we had a stupid dress code where I had to wear office shoes even though the office wasn't insulated.

Good boots with decent grip and you're good to go. I loved walking to work, I love walking everywhere though, I get claustrophobic not being outside. Like the vikings say, there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: pecunia on January 01, 2018, 11:14:20 AM
I just snow scooped the driveway.  It is 13 degrees F with a little wind.  It took more than 30 minutes.  I wouldn't begrudge the walk.  I'd not have to worry about the car starting, brushing off the snow or scraping the windows.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 01, 2018, 12:10:05 PM
It's -20 F today. I wore a light fleece to run errands (in a car, I only walked from sidewalk to door step 8 times...) In retrospect should have worn gloves. A walk in suitable winter clothes would be fine.
But earlier today when I was clearing the driveway and the winds where blowing a -40 windchill, with all my winter gear it hurt to be outside. My eyes hurt and my lungs hurt. I wouldn't do it for an hour. 15 minutes was enough.
Title: Re: Would you walk 30 minutes in the winter to work?
Post by: toganet on January 02, 2018, 07:39:34 AM
Sunday I geared up to snowblow the driveway.  This included merino baselayer, thick socks, snowpants, 3/4-length cheap parka, balaclava, silly fake-fur trapper hat, and two layers of gloves.  After 45 minutes outside in -10 windchill I was actually a little warm, and had to keep pulling the balaclava down to keep my glasses from fogging up, which was annoying.  After a total of an hour I went inside 90% toasty -- my feet had gotten a little cold.  Adding a second pair of socks would have been perfect.

So I think with the right gear, as long as you keep moving you can be as warm as you want :)