How much time do you waste on your daily commute? For many of us, getting to and from work is not only a huge waste of time, but it’s bad for our bodies and bad for the planet.
In the US, commuters spend about an hour every day getting to and from work on average, while Europeans spend even more time commuting. Commute times are on the rise, with more time being wasted than in the past.
That’s a lot of wasted time! Life is busy and it can be especially difficult to not only find the time to do the things that make us happy, but the things that keep us healthy as well. What’s more, long commute times have been linked with an array of health problems, such as high cholesterol, obesity, and depression.
Happily, with a little optimization, your commute can be made to work for you rather than against you. Read on to find out how you can use your commute to get fitter without sacrificing precious leisure time.
Cycle to work
A switch to cycling is one of the best ways to squeeze a little more exercise into a busy workweek. If you already love to cycle, turning your commute into training time can help you save time after work for activities. If you’re new to cycling, it’s a great way to optimize your fitness regime, especially with the help of Sports Tracker’s cycling feature, which tracks all of the information you need to make fitness progress.
Walk or run to work
If your commute is not too long, walking or running to work is a great way to get moving. Pack up your work shoes, or even your entire work outfit, and hit the pavement! Leave yourself plenty of time so you can enjoy the journey at your own pace without the stress of potential tardiness, and don’t forget to track your time in the app.
Stand up for fitness
If you must take a metro, train or bus, a simple switch from sitting to standing can help make a difference – especially if you’ll be sitting all day at a desk. Stand up, engage those core muscles, and perhaps even do a few unnoticeable but helpful exercises like calf raises. It’s not only better for your body, but better for your mind, too.
Go half and half
It’s not always practical to cycle or walk to work, of course. If you face a long commute, long work hours, or simply can’t risk getting sweaty before important client meetings, consider going half and half. You can, for example, take public transportation to work and run home, or drive partway and walk the rest – whatever works best for you.
Find a gym near your workplace
It can be difficult to get into the gym groove, so sometimes we need to perform a little mental trickery on ourselves. If your gym is near your workplace, you might be more inclined to, well, actually go to it, as opposed to a gym near your home. The closer you get to home, the more your mind goes into “home” mode, so tap into that after-work energy and get some exercise in before that happens. If you need an extra boost of motivation, share your workouts and gym selfies on Sports Tracker!
Bring a healthy snack
Eating on the run is all fine and dandy, but for those of us who commute, things can get unhealthy pretty quickly. When time is short, the easiest option often wins – and that usually isn’t the healthiest option. Pack a healthy snack to munch on during your commute so that you aren’t tempted to grab junk food or fast food.
No matter how you change up your commute, be sure to plan ahead. This will not only ensure that you arrive at work on time, but will let you set fitness goals for yourself. Decide on a plan of action, make a weekly schedule, and most importantly, stick to it. It will be easier to mix things up as well, so that you can create a custom commute plan that involves cycling, walking, or whichever commute type that works best for you. Our Route Planner feature makes planning your journey quick and simple, so that you can focus on more important things like getting fit and getting to work.
What are your favorite ways to get fit while commuting? Share your ideas about making the most of your daily commute in the comments below!