With lockdown driving many of us to work from home and engage in less active lifestyles, returning to the office presents the perfect opportunity to get your health back on track.
So, before you slip into old habits and reach for those car keys, consider the benefits of switching all or part of your commute to a more active pursuit like walking, running or cycling.
Two birds, one stone
Turning your commute into your regular form of daily exercise is a great way to increase your fitness while only marginally adjusting your routine. You need to get to your place of work regardless, so why not make that journey benefit your health too?
Studies have shown that people who regularly cycle are on average as fit as those ten years younger. Just 30 minutes of brisk exercise per day is also enough to burn a couple of hundred calories, reduce fat around your stomach, and lower your risk of serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Hit those health targets
According to the latest national health figures women should consume a daily intake of 2,000 calories a day, while for men this rises to 2,500 calories. Depending on your diet, it doesn’t take much to meet or even exceed these limits, and when you start to regularly intake more calories than you’re using, you begin to gain weight.
Walking, running or cycling to work is a great way to burn off calories and ensure the food you’re consuming is being turned into energy the body is using. Engaging in these activities can also help you to achieve your recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week and meet your daily step targets.
Be your best self
Not only can an active commute help you to look and feel great, it can also make you better at your job too. That’s because walking or cycling to work is linked to increased concentration and alertness, which in turn inspires greater productivity. Imagine that? Arriving in the office feeling motivated, engaged and focused, without relying on caffeine to kickstart your brain.
Another side effect of moderate exercise, like running, cycling or walking, is improved sleep quality and reduced feelings of tiredness. Studies have shown that adults who engage in some form of aerobic or cardio activity, not only stay asleep longer but actually wake up less throughout the night. So, if you’re someone who struggles to get to sleep or stay asleep, ditching your car can actually make you rest easier.
Plan your journey to work now. Visit maps.thebridgwaterway.co.uk for suggested cycling, walking and running routes.