Top Reasons to Think About Alternative Transport for Your Commute

Written by on April 28, 2017 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

By Jenn French

If you’re like most of your colleagues at work, you start and end your day in the car, dealing with often bumper-to-bumper traffic and stressed drivers honking their horns and doing silly things all around you.

While using your own vehicle to get to and from work is definitely convenient, and can sometimes be quicker than the alternatives, there are many reasons to think about ditching your car for the commute. Read on for some of them you should consider today.

Save Money

One of the benefits of finding alternative transportation for the commute that appeals to many people is the potential cost savings. No matter the type of option you choose, from walking, riding a bike, ridesharing, carpooling with friends or family members, or taking public transport, etc., you can save significant amounts of money over the long term.

Cars are not only more expensive to purchase upfront, but also cost more in upkeep, insurance fees, gas, tolls, and the like. Rising fuel costs and insurance rates over recent years also means that these charges are not likely to drop anytime soon. In addition, parking costs can have a large impact on your wallet over a 12-month period, something that can be alleviated if you find an alternative means of transport, which is why ridesharing keeps growing in popularity.

On a larger, socioeconomic scale, it’s also important to note that the country could save many millions of dollars on healthcare expenses if more people biked or walked to work each day. In fact, according to one particular study that was published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, “during the next 30 years, Portland’s residents could save as much as $594 million in healthcare costs because of an investment into biking culture.” It was estimated that the city could also enjoy “fuel savings of $143 to $218 million.”

Help the Environment

Of course, one of the most important benefits of not driving yourself to work every day is the positive impact that this can have on the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint significantly simply by driving less.

Private vehicles are, after all, one of the largest contributors around the globe to both carbon consumption and pollution (air and noise) levels, and emit many metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. In addition, the fewer cars that are on the road the less natural resources are needed to create them, and the less items that end up in landfill.

Get Fitter and Healthier

Another fantastic benefit of walking, cycling, skateboarding, or otherwise physically taking yourself off to work each day is that doing so enables you to get fitter and healthier. You can weave in a workout at the start and end of your day simply by swapping a car for your own legs, and get a great cardiovascular workout. Even taking public transport or using ridesharing options can help you get more active, as you will likely need to make your way to and from the bus or subway stop each day.

Getting your heart, lungs, and rest of your body working on your daily commute to the office can not only help you to lose some unwanted pounds, but also get your fitness level up, lower your risk of heart disease, and reduce your risk of bone deterioration.

Clear Your Mind

Similarly, ditching your car on the commute can also be very beneficial when it comes to your mental health. Exercise clears your mind and lowers your stress levels; gives you more access to that essential nutrient, Vitamin D; and allows you to be in the present moment more as you make your way to work.

Even taking public transport or making use of carpooling or ridesharing options can help you to feel better. Driving through traffic can be incredibly stressful after all, and lead to an increased sense of time pressure. On the other hand, when you don’t have to be the one behind the wheel, you can enjoy the opportunity to talk to a friend, family member or other contact, or spend the time reading, listening to music, meditating, planning out your day, or otherwise just sitting and relaxing.

Save Time

If you travel to work using an alternative method of transport, you can also enjoy time savings. For instance, depending on where you live and work, it can sometimes take longer getting from point A to point B in a vehicle than via public transport or your own steam, because of traffic and road works.

In addition, don’t forget that you need to factor in the amount of time that having a car takes up outside of the commute. For instance, you need to find parking space or fill up with gas, plus you need to spend time cleaning your car, getting it serviced or repaired, getting your tires checked or pumped up, and so on.

When you don’t have to worry about driving yourself, you can also save time by becoming more productive. During your commute you can get some reading, writing, editing or planning done, answer emails and other correspondence, update your social media, send text messages, catch up on the latest news, and so on.

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