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Consider the Commute


Looking to inject a little healthy activity

into your commute? Eating donuts with

a bike helmet on doesn't count.

Last year I posted a Top 10 list of non-resolutions for 2010 that would help me save a little money and incorporate more activity into my everyday life.  They were good guides for the year.  This year, I was thinking about my commute.  I find myself taking transit more often in the rainy months than I used to.  I was feeling guilty about not getting as much exercise but then the New York Times threw me a bone!

I came across an article discussing how much exercise we need in order to stay in good shape.  The research discussed found that exercising as little as once a week can help us maintain previous gains made when we were working out more regularly.  So, if you walked the three miles to work last summer and find yourself looking for a little motivation during winter think about this: you only need to do a little maintenance to keep up past health gains.  Then, when the weather turns good, you're right back where you were.  The walking shoes are ready for the longer amble.

The takeaway for your commute? You don't need to bike 20 miles a day, everyday in order to see healthy physical (and probably mental, but the researchers didn't go into that) impacts.  Once or twice a week biking or combining bicycling and transit, or getting off the bus a few stops early to increase your walking distance can help keep physical fitness levels at your peak summer-time active commuting levels!

So if your 2011 resolution is to lose a couple of pounds or get more exercise, consider the commute.  You don't need to bike everyday or walk the whole way from home to work.  But incorporating some physical activity into your commute can pay big dividends. 


Add a Comment


Michael Wilson

January 6, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Why don't you people work on opening the transit market so that the public, at least those of us who want alternative sources of transit, such as ride sharing cabs, jitneys, mom and pop neighborhood taxi services and maybe a good privately run bus can have access to such services?

There is a study or two that suggest we might significantly lower the ambient pollution by opening the market.

We might also help reduce the welfare roles if people can get better transportation since that means better access to job opportunities.

And to think all of that uses little or no tax dollars. Probably save them big time in the end.

I'll suggest some books if you need them. Email me at the above address. And remember Openness is a good thing. To paraphrase a bumper sticker; Markets are like parachutes,they work better when they are open.



January 7, 2011 at 6:51 AM

I'll bet that Portland taxpayers paid for the donuts, too.

Encouraging people to exercise and ride their bikes is great advice from your mom, your Doctor, or your spouse.

City government isn't likely to change most people's daily habits, especially the fat and lazy ones.



January 7, 2011 at 7:12 AM

While not groundbreaking advice, please ignore the troll-like comments above from "sensible" (not ... probably pays little or no taxes, and doesn't understand how taxes are spent) and Bruce, whose doesn't think that public pronouncements have an effect on people's behavior.

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