UHA Worksite Wellness

Your Commute is a Waste of Time – But it Doesn’t Have To Be

Written by Linda Kalahiki on March 16, 2014. Posted in Activity & Exercise

If you have ever sat in traffic and thought “well, this is a waste time,” you are not alone. Though Hawaii residents boast shorter commute distances than most other Americans, we are all working longer hours and spending less time outside getting exercise. With work, family and social commitments, making time to exercise can feel nearly impossible. But by using your commute as part of your daily exercise routine, you can save time, minimize the cost of fuel and even help the environment. Here are our five tops tips to optimize your travel time:

    1. Roll on: Leave your car parked and instead biking to work. Cycling can be speedier than walking or running, making it more enjoyable, less physically demanding and less time consuming. Invest in a certified helmet and look for local trails or less traffic-heavy routes.
    2. Cut the distance: If you reside so far from your office that the distance seems insurmountable to walk or bike, cut it in half. Simply drive to a middle ground location where you can park, and start your exercise there. Or, exit the bus a few stops early. It’s not “cheating” just because you’re not exercising “the whole way”; find a distance that’s right for you and, if you choose, increase it gradually over time.
    3. Grab a buddy: Find a colleague or neighbor and together, commit to a “fitness commute”. Even if you’re only together part of your route, you’ll be far more motivated to abandon your solitary car ride in favor of quality time with a friend. Additionally, commuting with a friend or a small group is safer than going it alone.
    4. Listen to e-books: If you’re without a commuting companion, let your commute do triple duty by knocking some books off your “to read” list. Apps like Audible are excellent for auditory learners or for “reading” when you’re on the go. For safety’s sake, confine your headphone use to when you’re out of traffic and on designated pathways, not city streets.
    5. Go one way: Some offices are without showers or other essentials for exercise commuters. Likewise, different times of the day are busier than others depending on your lifestyle. In these cases, take public transit to work and walk, jog or run home in the evenings or vice versa. Work with your situation, not against it.

Daily commuting typically consists of time wasted at traffic lights, listening to overplayed radio tunes and burning fuel. Exercise commuting, on the other hand, optimizes your travel time, making your commute into an enjoyable, productive journey from start to finish which benefits your physical, mental and spiritual health.

Linda Kalahiki

Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

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