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Active commuting

Aug 31, 2011

Active commuting

Active commuting is about choosing regular physical activity in the form of walking or cycling for your everyday trips. It's a great way to fit regular physical activity into your daily active lifestyle.

Every time you or your children walk or ride to work, school or the shops, instead of sitting in a car, you're burning calories, getting fitter and living your new active lifestyle whilst getting part of you daily recommended amount of regular physical activity.

The journey to work is an ideal chance to help build up the 30 minutes a day of regular physical activity you need. You save on gas, fares and commuter stress, plus you gain all the health benefits that healthy living and regular physical activity bring.

Many employers now have travel plans to help reduce car use and promote active lifestyles and healthy living. Ask your employer if they can help encourage walking and cycling.

It's the same for kids. Children and young people need regular physical activity of at least an hour a day, so why not use the school journey to help them keep healthy and fit? Many schools now have a Safe Routes to Schools project.

Practical measures to encourage walking and cycling can be anything from 20mph speed limits, new cycle lanes and crossings to "walking buses" and "cycling trains", where a parent volunteers to escort groups of younger children. Anything that helps promote an active lifestyle and healthy living should be encouraged.

Top tips for active commuting:

  • Think "healthy living" before you travel - every time you use your legs it does you good.
  • If your trip is less than a mile or so, try walking - or walk some of the way if it's too far.
  • You can start your active lifestyle gently, by walking part of the way, or taking a bus home.
  • If you're thinking about cycling, try out your route at the weekend first.
  • Work up to walking or cycling every day and see how much fitter you feel!