One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lead a healthier lifestyle. Whether that means eating a balanced diet, increasing physical activity, or getting rid of stress, using non-drive alone modes can help you reach these goals.
Yes, taking the bus, joining a carpool, or signing up for a vanpool, and of course, walking or biking to work, can help you stay healthy and stick to those resolutions.
If your goal is to eat healthier…
- Plan your grocery list during a bus, carpool, or vanpool ride to or from work- If you are not in the driver’s seat agonizing over traffic, you are better equipped to think about healthy meals you want for the week, browse recipes on your phone, and write out a grocery list.
If your goal is to increase physical activity…
- Celebrate the exercise you might already get to and from the bus stop. If you are lucky enough to be able to walk to your bus stop, don’t underestimate the time it takes to walk to and from your stop, and celebrate the fact that you may already be on your way to getting those steps. The CDC recommends that the average adult get around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, and this can include brisk walking (2015). Ten minutes to and from a bus stop, five times each week already adds up to 100 minutes, more than half of the recommended amount.
- Get off the bus one or two stops earlier. Remember, just because your bus may drop you off close to your destination, it doesn’t mean you have to take the bus all the way there. You can control how far you want to walk on any given day. Give it a try once a week, and next week, try it twice.
- Walk or bike to the park and ride. If you live within a reasonable distance of a park and ride, consider walking or biking to it instead of driving. Many park and rides even have bike racks and bike lockers, but check first with the transit agency that runs that specific park and ride – or check with us and we can help you find that information.
If your goal is to get rid of stress…
- Focus your travel time on activities that improve your mood and well-being. Sitting in traffic can be stressful, so riding in the HOV lane can make a big difference. If you are an extravert, you might appreciate the time with carpool or vanpool partners as a new social outlet. On the other hand, if you enjoy time to yourself, consider listening to music, reading a book, or taking a nap.
Check out the Mover of the Month’s story here on how her commute has helped her exercise and enjoy the fresh air.
Do you have ideas on how non-drive alone modes can help continue the momentum of our New Year’s resolutions? Leave them in the comments below.
-Choose Your Way Bellevue staffer Danielle