We all know that exercise is incredibly beneficial to us, but do you know exactly how beneficial incorporating physical activity into your daily commute can be?
There are plenty of really positive reasons to get active on your way to and from work that go beyond just health benefits, we’ve put together a list of the key benefits below!
Remember, you don’t have to be active for all of your commute, even just 10 minutes can be great! If you’re travelling from further afield, you could always try getting off your bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way or cycling to the train station rather than driving. Another strategy that might work well for you is driving part of the way and riding the rest.
As well as improving overall fitness levels regular walking significantly reduces your risk of a number of conditions, such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and coronary heart disease.
A recent study has found that cycle commuters have a 52% lower risk of dying from heart disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer. While walkers had a 36% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
On top of this, active commuters take fewer sick days than those travelling by car, with less frequent and less severe reports of cold and flu symptoms.
Avoid the stresses of rush hour traffic. The average one-way commute in the UK takes 54 minutes and a massive 18% of people who drive or use public transport said that their journey it making them miserable!
Walking, cycling or running are all relaxing ways to clear your mind and are a great way to get some time to yourself if you have a busy lifestyle. Finding time in your day to get to the gym can be difficult at times and we’re all guilty of the occasional excuse to avoid going. Making exercise part of your daily commute means it’s unavoidable and often bite-sized, so doesn’t feel overwhelming like committing to a fitness programme can!
Interestingly, employees that travel to work on foot or by bike usually report feeling more calm, relaxed, enthusiastic and satisfied with their commute, as well as being more productive on the job.
The following is the average cost of commuting over a 12-month period:
- £0 to walk or run
- £396 to commute by bike
- £848 to travel by bus
- £1,320 on train tickets
- £3,727 to travel by car
If your employer has a cycle to work scheme the cost savings of cycling to work can start to look even more attractive. A cycle to work scheme allows you to save around 30% on the cost of a new bike, by making monthly payments from your salary before paying national insurance.
Save the Environment
There are also some really important environmental implications surrounding the way we travel to work.
Cars are one of the largest contributors to air pollution. Hopping on your bike or slipping on your comfy trainers to get to work can really help to improve the air quality in your local area.
You’ll also be helping to reduce noise pollution where you live. Compared with a car engine, cycling, walking and running are all basically silent, which can make for a much nicer environment!
You might be worried about being exposed to more pollution as a cyclists or pedestrian than as a driver but that’s actually not the case at all!
Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. It’s thought to be because cyclists ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren’t directly in the line of exhaust smoke and therefore, breathe in fewer fumes!