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Five ideas for solo walks in any neighborhood

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On March 27, Mayor London Breed made it clear that while it’s okay to get outside for exercise during shelter-in-place, we need to stay in our neighborhoods. To summarize, if you have to drive a car to take a walk, it’s too far.

Here are some of the ideas I’ve used to create fresh takes on my walks in the neighborhood. Perhaps you’ll enjoy them, too. Share your walks with #IWalkSF.

  • Walk the entire length of your street and back. Stick to one side out and the other side back.
  • Walk on a street that is usually choked with cars. Now’s your chance to walk on the sidewalks of streets like Van Ness, Guerrero, Sunset, Sloat, 19th Avenue, Park Presidio, and Lincoln. You might even hear some birds.
  • Do the every street challenge. Tape a paper map by your front door and keep a highlighter pen next to it. Track all the streets in your neighborhood that you’ve walked, and try to do them all!
  • Walk at a time when others aren’t likely to be out. The hours close to sunset and sunrise are good bets. Have an early dinner and walk while everyone else is home eating.
  • Do a figure eight walk. If you’re looking for a longer walk and might get hungry or want to use the restroom, follow a walk in the shape of an 8, with your home being at the center. Do a loop, stop back in your home for hand washing, restrooms and lunch, then do a second loop.

Nancy Botkin is a longtime Walk SF volunteer and walk organizer. She would like to thank the “Walk Lab” members Marilyn Adamson, Andrew Greenberg, Cole Brennan, Eric Chase, and Karen Rhodes for their inspiration and ideas. These folks research routes for Walk SF, and we’re so grateful for their brainstorming during shelter-in-place.