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Picking the Best Way to Turn Your Commute Into A Workout

Bike to work

Get fit while getting to work

For most Americans, the daily commute is a time to sit in the car, listen to some music, and sip on the coffee they brewed overnight or the water they grabbed from their water softener before rushing out the door. Whether you find your commute highly stressful or surprisingly relaxing, there’s a good chance that you really have no good alternative to your daily mode of transportation. There is probably no quick and dependable public transit option between your home and your office. You’re stuck in the car, regardless of whether you like it or not.
But some people have the opportunity to turn their commute into a healthy and refreshing workout. If you live close enough to work and have showers at your office, eschewing the car for a morning run or bike ride can help maximize your time, health, and daily vigor. But which mode of commute should you choose? Unless you live in one of those rare places where work can be reached with swim trunks or cross country skis, you are likely faced with a choice between running to the office or riding your bike. Let’s look at a few of the pros and cons of each:

Biking
Pros: Biking is the mode of choice for most people who choose to exercise on their daily commute to work. And it’s easy to see why. Bikes can cover larger distances relatively quickly and they make it easier for you to carry a backpack or suitcase with you. Backpacks also allow you to get as much or as little of a workout as you’d like, which may be particularly appealing for anyone with no showers at work who still seeks a car-free commute. For example, if your morning trip has a net downhill and you aren’t in a hurry, you can cruise into the office without breaking a sweat. But you can still get a biking workout if you seek one.
Cons: Biking poses a couple of seasonal and logistical issues that you should consider. First of all, if you choose this mode you’re going to need a place at work to keep the bicycle, whether inside the office or on a rack. Secondly, biking is usually more dangerous than running in snowy or icy conditions.

Running
Pros: There is no activity out there that burns calories more easily or costs less than running. If you choose to run to work, consequently, your transportation costs will plummet and you will quickly find yourself in peak physical shape. You also will be able to leave the house in the morning without needing to worry about such practical issues as needing to take out the bike, clear snow off the car, or hurry to catch the bus; instead, you just need to shut the front door and start running. And, although running may be difficult when the roads are choked with cars and the sidewalks piled with snow, it is still probably the easiest form of exercise to perform outdoors and under adverse conditions.
Cons: Running is likely only feasible for people who live within a few miles of their office and have the ability to shower and change once they arrive. After all, it’s difficult to carry any items on a run and you are almost sure to build up a sweat in the process.
As you can see, biking and running have their distinct advantages and issues. If you want an efficient mode of transit for nice days, biking might be your best bet. If you want to guarantee a workout every single morning and afternoon of the workweek, running may suit you better. But either way, if you can make a biking or running commute feasible in the long run, your body will certainly thank you later.

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Nora Charles is a freelance writer that has worked with many bloggers for several years now.

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