Active transportation provides health benefits, cost savings

Feeling a little anxious? Are you tired or just can’t focus? If so, using active transportation to get to and from work when you are in the office may be just the answer you are seeking to make you feel better.

Adding a healthy regimen to your daily routine offers other benefits as well, so why not incorporate it into your commute when you can?

Walking contributes to better health, reduced stress and better weight management. Increasing your daily steps and creating a weekly workout routine based on your commute can help increase your daily calorie expenditure. According to Livestrong.com, a person walking two miles a day at a brisk pace (4 mph) can burn between 135 to 200 calories a day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that walking a few miles daily is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. You don’t need to walk every day but the CDC recommends walking between 150 to 300 minutes each week.

“Walking is a great way to get the physical activity needed to obtain health benefits,” notes the CDC website. “Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. A single bout of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can improve sleep, memory, and the ability to think and learn. It also reduces anxiety symptoms.”

For commutes less than five miles, cycling is another healthy option for improved fitness and stress reduction. Cycling to work is easier on designated bike-friendly routes and The Loop, which is 120 miles of paved pathways and bike lanes in Pima County.

A five-mile bike ride takes 30 minutes or less, so a round-trip commute could take less than an hour but provide great health benefits. According to fitactiveliving.com, a half hour of cycling can burn between 260 to 372 calories. Even burning 500 calories a day can help someone lose one pound a week.

If work is too far to directly walk or bike to, then public transportation may be a way to incorporate active transportation into your commute. Walk or ride your bike to the bus stop to add physical activity to your day.

Not only is active transportation beneficial to your health, it puts money in your pocket with savings on gas, parking and vehicle maintenance costs. Sun Rideshare, a regional commuter assistance program of Pima Association of Governments, offers services to get you started.

To learn more about how active transportation can benefit your organization contact Mary Carter, PAG Director of Partnerships & Development, at (520) 495-1424 or mcarter@pagregion.com

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