October 30, 2014
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Commuter Stress

Bad commute? Map a new route!

Bad commute? Map a new route!

If you just can't stand another day spent sitting behind the wheel, consider a few commuter alternatives.

Carpool your resources: 72% of Canadian car commuters still drive alone to and from work. Why not join the minority and swap your solitude for a shared experience? Ask around at work to find someone who lives near you or investigate community services that link up solo commuters. Carpool partners can take turns driving, but just be sure to settle insurance and reimbursement issues upfront. Follow ride-share etiquette: be punctual and polite.

Go public transit: This option has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, a public transit commute is an average of 41 minutes longer than a car commute. Plus, you're more likely to be exposed to coughs and sneezes of fellow passengers and the germ-ridden surfaces of buses and trains. On the other hand, take public transit and you're more than three times as likely as your car-bound counterparts to get 30 minutes of daily physical activity. You'll probably also take more steps and log more kilometres per day walking than those who drive to work.

Get on your bike: Perhaps thanks to the growing "green" movement, more and more people are riding two-wheelers to work. Cyclists exert both cardiovascular and muscular effort, so if you choose a bike commute you'll fit in a fun workout before your workday even begins! Just be sure to wear a helmet to prevent head injury. Remember that under the law, a bike is considered a vehicle and cyclists must abide by the rules of the road. Stay off sidewalks and use bike lanes if they're available in your area.

Walk it out: Should you be so lucky to live close enough to walk to work, why would you go any other way? Distance and poor weather may be a couple of reasons why so few people hoof it to their daily destinations. Too bad, since walking is such a simple, natural exercise and affords you a chance to appreciate your environment and to interact with your city or neighbourhood. If walking is an option for you, consider all the calories you could burn just getting to and from work!

Work from home: Telecommuting has become more common since the advent of the internet and wireless technologies. Imagine your commute equalling the distance between your bed and your home office! The disciplined telecommuter could make the most of the time saved by fitting in a quick home gym workout or a hike around the neighbourhood between emails, teleconferences, and webinars. While not an option for everyone, you could talk to your boss about the possibility of telecommuting 1 or 2 days a week to reduce your overall weekly traffic-or-transit time.

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