According to the Census’s 2016 American Community Survey data, it takes the average American 26.6 minutes to travel to work one way — and those living or working in Silicon Valley know that a commute can be nearly double, sometimes triple that. Luckily, you can spend this time practicing healthy daily habits.
On average, Americans spend over half of their waking hours sitting — and your daily commute is just one more activity that keeps you off your feet. While you probably can’t stop commuting altogether, there are ways to make it a healthier, more enjoyable experience.
Your daily commute gives you built-in time to develop healthy habits and improve the quality of your life. Here are some simple ways to enjoy a healthier, happier commute:
- Pass the time with enjoyable activities. Listening to a podcast or audiobook is a great way to liven up an otherwise boring commute. You can even spend the time developing a new skill, like learning a language.
- Find ways to relax. While driving in rush-hour traffic may not be relaxing, you can still use this time to practice your breathing and de-stress. Check out some helpful relaxation tips that you can practice while you drive.
- Bring a buddy along for the ride. Long commutes can feel lonely. Boost your mood—and help the environment—by carpooling to work with a friend or coworker.
- Pack yourself some healthy snacks. After a long day of work, fast food can be an especially tempting option. Try keeping healthy after-work snacks in your car, like fruit or unsalted almonds, that you can eat on your way home.
- Listen to soothing music. Listening to soft, relaxing music is another way to start and end your day in a calming way.
Remember to stay hydrated. Many adults don’t drink enough fluids, and risk becoming dehydrated. Bringing a water bottle on your commute is an easy way to remember to drink water and stay hydrated.
At El Camino Hospital, we care about keeping you healthy and safe. Practice these healthy tips to improve your daily commute, and learn other ways to stay safe on the highway.