Getting to work isn't typically anyone's favorite time of the day -- but that doesn't mean it can't be! A few changes can turn your daily commute from lost time to productive time that actually benefits your health for the long term instead of leaving you feeling drained and anxious.
Planning Ahead to Avoid Stress
Stress has several negative impacts on health. First of all, when you're under stress, the body releases more of the hormone cortisol, which can lead to weight gain. Your blood pressure also rises, your immune system can become weakened and when you finally do have time to wind down, you may find you have trouble sleeping.
The most important thing to do when you have a daily commute is to plan ahead. If the time you have to be at work each day is always the same, you know what you're in for, it just takes discipline. Here are some ways to get more organized so you get out the door faster in the morning:
Pick out your outfit the night before.
Pack your lunches for the week on Sunday or at the very latest, the night before.
Place your alarm clock out of arm's reach to avoid snoozing.
Leave your keys and work materials by the door, ready to go.
Commuting and Your Diet
Your diet also plays a big part in how healthy your commute is. Fueling your body properly before you head out the door is key, since eating on the go can be taxing on your digestive system when you're running around. Not to mention, it isn't safe if you're operating any type of vehicle, be it a car or a bike. Follow these tips for better eating:
Have a breakfast with protein to energize you like a whole grain English muffin with almond butter.
Drink a green juice before you head out for vitamins and minerals. Have your coffee when you get to work to avoid digestive issues while you're on the move.
Keep healthy snacks in your briefcase or in the car to avoid the drive-through when you're really cramped for time or for unexpected delays.
Always have water with you to stay hydrated.
Just Keep Moving
Now for the active part. Staying moving while commuting is important to keep your blood flowing and help you wake up, especially if your job means you'll be sitting all day. Get to work on foot if possible by walking or biking. Even if it means parking at the back of the lot or riding your bike to a train or bus stop instead of being dropped off or driving. You should always wear comfortable footwear, even if you're driving, to avoid cramping, blisters or any further issues.
When you get to work, have a good stretch before settling into your desk. Make sure to get up and move each hour thereafter for proper circulation.
The Mental Commute
Last but certainly not least, keep your peace of mind a top priority for your commute. After all, how you feel in the morning will affect you the entire day and into the evening, so break the cycle of arriving to work frazzled as much as possible with these suggestions:
Listen to music that wakes you up gently. Nothing angry.
Make sure your car smells nice or keep some essentials oils on you. Sniffing lavender can be especially calming when you're on the move.
Pair up with a friend or coworker if possible for some positive interaction at the start of your day.
If you take public transit, do something that relaxes you on the way like reading instead of working.
Following these tips can help you get to and from work safely and you'll feel the benefits when you're off the clock as well. Check back at eVitamins for the latest health news and advice!
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.