Researchers from the University of Queensland found that fewer than half of all Australians are living up to the World Health Organisation’s current exercise guidelines. Yet lack of physical activity is second only to smoking as a risk factor for preventable disease.
Maybe you know you should be more active, but you just don’t have time to hit the gym or go jogging in the morning. Luckily there’s another option: exercising on the way to work.
The Importance of Health and FitnessThe benefits of regular exercise are widely known. Staying fit and healthy helps you keep your weight and blood pressure under control and lowers your risk for many preventable diseases.
Exercise has also been known to improve quality of sleep and help with mental health. By getting the blood flowing, even for short period of time before starting your working day, you can change your outlook and clear your head. Exercise release the feel-good endorphin, serotonin, which helps you deal with stress and anxiety.
Changing The Way You CommutePerhaps the easiest way to exercise on your way to work is to ride a bicycle, especially if you live in a city with a well-developed network of cycling paths (like Brisbane).
Another option, if you live close enough to your workplace, is to walk or jog to work. Grab a colleague that lives nearby to yourself motivated.
If you don’t have the convenience of living close to work, try getting off the train or bus a few stops earlier or parking the car further away. This could help you squeeze in some extra exercise. By spending 30 minutes walking to work each day you’re adding around 120 hours of exercise to your routine every year!
Don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing if you do decided to switch up your morning commute. Even just wearing your runners instead of your office shoes can make a big difference and prevent sore feet.
Exercises You Can Do on Your CommuteIf work is too far for you to walk, run or cycle, there are still chances to fit exercise into your daily journey.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to the end of the train platform or park a little further from the office front door. You can even squeeze in some exercises while you’re riding the bus or stopped at a red light. Try these ones for starters:
Calf raises – Stand on your toes, hold the stretch and come back down. Alternatively, stand on one leg to boost balance and leg strength.
Side twists – Sit upright, tighten your abs and twist your upper body slightly to the left and slightly to the right as slowly as you can.
And as the saying goes, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit per day will help you feel better at work and at home.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: September 18, 2016.