As kids, we break into a run at every opportunity – but as adults, this becomes a little trickier. The shoes will get scratched. We’ll get sweaty. Too many bags to carry. So we drive or catch public transport, headphones in, maybe even catching up on some work along the way.
We miss so much. There is a playfulness to being out in the world, dealing with the elements. It's a chance to notice the leaves change colours, to watch flowers bloom, to admire neighbours’ gardens and to make connections en route.
Whether it’s riding a bike, speed walking or jogging, incorporating physical activity into your commute is more achievable than we realise. Even just doing it for a portion of the commute will put a spring in your step. Once you get into the rhythm of it, you won’t need to set special time aside for daily exercise because you’re getting it incidentally, and the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.
The benefits of an active commute
If we bring physical activity into our commute, we give our body time to find its natural rhythm before the workday begins. Runners talk about the way a run clears the mind, helps prioritise what’s important, and turns large problems into small hiccups. Psychologists are finding a link between physical wellbeing and a feeling of community connectedness. Why rush home to spend time on a mindfulness app when you can get all the mindfulness you need on the commute?
Incorporating running, walking or bike riding into the daily commute can seem easier said than done, though. Most of us would like to be more active but there are practical reasons why this doesn’t happen.