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Biking to work.

Three reasons to switch up your commute

How was your commute into work this morning? If you’re like most of us, you drive alone through a sea of traffic. But there are plenty of health benefits—for you and the environment—if you change your routine by biking, walking, or carpooling to work.

Here are three reasons why you should switch up your daily commute:

1. It’s great exercise. If you ride a bike or walk to work, you’re guaranteed to get extra minutes of physical activity that can burn calories and reduce the risk of hypertension. Research shows that every additional hour per day you spend driving puts you at a 6 percent greater risk of obesity, while every hour you spend walking reduces that risk by 4.8 percent.

And even if you take the train or ride the bus, walking to and from the stops can get you moving.

2. It reduces stress and improves your mood. One study showed that for every 10 minutes of increased commuting time, drivers feel worse and walkers or cyclists feel better. Exercise and being outdoors have both been shown to improve your mood.

Even those who ride public transit feel better than those who drive to work. When you’re not behind the wheel, you can reduce stress by solving a crossword puzzle or you can simply doze off, take a nap and relax.  

3. It’s good for the environment. For every day you choose to carpool, take public transit, walk or bike, you’re helping to reduce pollution, improve the quality of the air, and make a positive difference in the environment. Plus, driving alone is isolating. By getting out of your car, or finding a carpool buddy, you’ll interact with your community members in a new way.

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.

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