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Ditch The Gym For Your Commute!

Keara Mehlert
Keara Mehlert February 21, 2013 Keara Mehlert is a former Property & Development Services Program Director at Arlington Transportation Partners.
ATP TAKEAWAY: If you're struggling to find time to go to the gym, why not incorporate daily exercise into your regular commute?

Research has recently come out about the health benefits of walking and biking, and how people can incorporate more exercise into their daily lives. At ATP, this link between public health and transportation has been frequently mentioned as a way to promote other ways of getting around besides driving alone. While this past week has been pretty chilly weather-wise, spring is just around the corner – so check out these articles for some inspiration to get out and walk or bike during your commute!



While walking is not the most feasible way to get to work for most people, we’ve often talked about how it can be incorporated into your commute, such as walking to and from a transit station. A recent study, published by the American Public Health Association, reveals that those who walk to a bus stop or train station instead of driving (called “Transit Walking” in the article) are in fact getting in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day. The study also mentioned that the number of transit walkers overall has grown over the past ten years, as more people are choosing to locate in more urban areas and closer to public transportation options.

Do you currently go to the gym and hop on the treadmill or stationary bike as your daily exercise? According to The New York Times, you probably are not getting as good of a workout as you would if you exercised outdoors – aka biking or walking to work!

New research has shown that when running, biking or walking outside, the exposure to different surfaces, elements and terrain causes you to burn more calories and use a great amount of energy than you would in a gym. In addition, study volunteers found exercising outdoors more enjoyable and “scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside”. They also reported exercising more overall each week than those who worked out in a gym.

If you’re one of those people who hate the gym or just can’t find the time during the day to squeeze in a workout – consider incorporating biking or walking into your commute. You can get the recommended daily physical activity, while saving time and money, and arriving to work happier and less stressed. Make plans to try it out in the near future – and keep an eye out for upcoming information about several walking and biking events in Arlington during the months of April and May!

Photo Credit: Sam Kittner/

Tags: Bike, Walking, Behavior, Health


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