Longer Commutes Weighing on Us

Carve Designs Del Rey Burnout Top

Look sharp at the office in the Del Rey Burnout Top from Carve Designs

The longer your commute, the more likely that you’re overweight or obese. So says a new study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

People who have longer commutes …

  • worked out less often at moderate or vigorous levels
  • have a higher percentage of body fat
  • have larger waistlines
  • have higher blood pressure levels 

Certainly these issues are all related. The researchers speculated the higher blood pressure could be a result of the frustration of sitting in rush hour traffic more than from the actual act of spending so much time in a car.

Should we all switch jobs or home towns so we can decrease the length of our commutes?  This study only looked at people who drove to work; should people at risk for cardiovascular disease consider public transportation as a way to mitigate the damage?

Having chunks of time taken out of your day is difficult to negotiate.  If it takes you 45 minutes to get to and from work, that’s an hour and a half out of your life five days a week.  Plenty of time for a great workout.  If you’re battling the bulge and rush hour, here are a few ideas you can try.

Take a walk at lunch. This will get your heart rate up and help you stay focused through any mid-afternoon slumps.

Negotiate working from home one or two days a week.  If your job has some flexibility, perhaps you can telecommute.  This will free up time in your day without taking any time away from your company.

Combine activities.  Instead of drinks after work with a friend, how about a game of tennis instead?  Or set up a piece of cardio equipment in the TV room at home and watch your favorite shows while working out.  You can combine socializing and fitness easily, and while cutting back TV viewing is best, if you just have to watch a certain program or two, at least you can make it healthier by adding a little cardio or free weight work.

Just a few ideas to stay healthy in a world of long commutes.  Let us know any ideas you have below in the comment section.

Related post: “Worktime Workouts: Exercises to Do at Work

Always consult with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.


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