Ever thought of ways to transform your commute into a healthy coping behaviour?
You’re up at 6am each morning to head for the office. You work 40 plus hours a week, often straight through lunch. You network most evenings, enjoy time with your family at weekends, oh and you want to party a little with your friends too. How can you possibly find the time to exercise?
Don’t underestimate what you can achieve during the commute. Your commute could be anything from 30 minutes to three hours of your day. That’s often wasted time and energy stuck in traffic, waiting for a bus or fighting for a seat on the train. Why not transform your travel experience so that it becomes an active rather than passive part of your day.
Yes I know you’ve heard this suggestion many times before but there’s a good reason for that. Walking is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and as it doesn’t have the added intensity of other forms of exercise, almost anyone can do it. So, if you drive to work, find a parking spot further away from the office. If you travel in by bus or tube, get off a stop earlier. If you already walk, why not change your route to include a loop around a park – it might just give you the time you need to think and plan your working day.
Cycling is one of the most economic, healthiest and fastest ways to travel around a city. Many major cities offer smart city biking and you can read more about our top five picks in Europe today here. If you currently drive to the station each morning, consider using your bike instead – no more worrying about finding a parking space. If you currently walk to work, try cycling in a couple of times a week. You’ll reduce your commute time and can either enjoy more time at home or some quiet time in the office before your colleagues arrive for the day. Just remember to wear a helmet!
If you commute by train or bus, imagine how different the early part of your day would be if you weren’t involved in the battle for a seat. Standing rather sitting means your abs will get a good workout. Hold on to a handrail for safety and each time the train or bus brakes or turns brace your deep stomach muscles to keep yourself stable. It’s a far more functional workout than ab crunches.
Take the stairs
Whether you’re going up or down choosing the stairs will give you a tremendous all over body workout. Plus, taking the stairs rather than lift to your floor each morning will save you from those awkward lift conversations!
Steering wheel push ups
There is a quick and easy workout for those of you who drive to the office. Next time you’re stuck in traffic try this. Place your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel and pull yourself towards the wheel by flexing your arms. Hold that position for a count of three and then reverse the movement and push away. Complete 10 reps, rest for 30 seconds and then go again!
So you see, by getting creative with your commute, you really can find the time to exercise. Walking instead of driving, standing instead of sitting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator are all simple yet effective means of working out. Anything that can get your muscles working in new ways and your heart pumping is guaranteed to improve your health, increase your fitness and keep you in shape.
© Extravitality 2014
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