Have you ever become mad at another driver or rider on your daily commute and felt your blood pressure increase?
How about your diet? Does your commuting schedule leave you little time to prepare healthy meals, so you grab fast food?
If this happens more than a little bit of the time, you’re like a lot of commuters who are feeling the effects of longer and more stressful commutes.
Commuters can face these and other health issues related to stressful commutes:
- Raised blood pressure, cortisol levels and adrenaline levels, which increases the risk of a heart attack according to UCLA’s Richard Jackson.
- Increased exposure to air pollution.
- Increased chance of respiratory problems.
- Increasing the potential problem of having a sedentary lifestyle.
- Unhealthy eating, which increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that commuters who commuted about 15 miles were less physically active, more likely to face obesity and were more likely to have unhealthy waist sizes. And as little as a 10-mile commute could elevate someone’s blood pressure.
How to create a healthy commute
It’s hard to argue walking and biking are the best mode of transportation to be healthy because of the exercise involved. However, not everyone has that choice.
To stay healthy on the commute,here are a few simple ideas that anyone can do.
- Pack water and snacks to ensure you’re feeding your body with healthy food choices.
- Try to make time to food prep healthy meals and exercise when you are away from work.
- Focus on breathing and meditate (if possible). Not everyone can meditate on the commute, but we all breath. It’s good to take deep breaths to keep moods elevated and ward off stress.
- Be courteous to your fellow commuters. Don’t be the one who cuts people off in the car or runs over people to get the last seat on the train or bus. At the same time, try your best not to let those people ruin your day.
Keep a healthy commute and spend less money at the same time
A sure-fire way to take some of the stress out of your commute is to spend less money on it.
With commuter benefits, you can start saving up to 40 percent in commuting costs in your paycheck, tax-free. You can save up to $265 per month. Your employer will pay few taxes because payroll taxes will go down, so it’s the kind of benefit both parties find attractive.
Want to learn the basics about commuter benefits? Download our infographic: