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.