Have you been able to actually squeeze the recommended 10,000 steps a day into your busy schedule? Studies have shown that counting steps can be a helpful tool in achieving optimal health and activity goals. However, as we all know, slipping physical activity into a daily routine can be challenging and often requires creative solutions. We broke down three easy tips to help you energize your commute with more steps and/or pedals.
Tip 1: Start with eliminating one Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trip
If a coworker proposes calling an Uber to get to your favorite lunch spot, suggest using your local bike share such as ValleyBike Share, Zagster, Ofo, LimeBike, or Blue Bike instead. Before you know it, you’ll have helped the environment and burned off a few lunch calories. If you’re really feeling up to the challenge, you can try eliminating a single SOV trip to or from work and replacing it with a walk or bike ride.
Tip 2: Variety is the spice of life
Change up your commute and try walking or biking one day (or more!) a week to reach your goal of 10,000 steps per day. While humans notoriously crave routine, spicing up your mid-week commute can be good for you– both mentally and physically. While walking and biking will add to your daily step count, either can invigorate your early mornings and/or late afternoons. Taking public transit – whether it be in the form of a bus, train, or ferry – is an additional way to incorporate passive exercise to help get you moving through the day.
Tip 3: Stack your trips
Commuting accounts for about a third of all trips taken. If you’ve found that your commute home and a dash to the grocery store entail two separate trips, consider combining them. That second trip is an opportunity to replace one entire (dare we say SOV) trip with a visit to the farmers market, a doctor’s appointment, or to a local baker for that last minute cake on your way to the commuter rail or on your bike or walk home.
Incorporating active transportation into a routine is easier than most people think. After trying it out, many prefer it to driving alone as it not only results in a less stressful commute, but is an effective way to jump into a healthier lifestyle. Of course, using even one of these tips is a step in the right direction (pun intended!).