Virgin Active blog
Your Healthy Commute
According to a report conducted by the Office of National Statistics, not only do commuters suffer from lower life satisfaction, they are less happy and more anxious than non-commuters.
It’s not all bad news though.
While we can’t magic your commute away, changing your approach can help to combat the negative effects of your journey, by reducing stress, boosting happiness and improving your fitness.
From small to big, try making these adjustments to your daily commute, to improve your overall wellbeing and get the most out of life.
If you’re lucky enough to live close to your place of work, why not ditch public transport altogether and hop on a bike instead?
According to a report by Aviva, after studying 2,000 working UK adults, more than half of those who cycle to work said they arrived feeling refreshed after their commute, with over 50% of cyclists saying that riding into work improved how they felt mentally.
Aside from the psychological benefits, cycling for at least 30 minutes can burn between 200 to 400 calories. Plus, the extra cycling practice will give you the edge next time you’re brave enough to strap yourself in for one of our group cycling classes.
Get Some Headspace
Take the stress and monotony out of your daily tube journey with some mindfulness.
A form of stress-reducing meditation, mindfulness apps like Headspace provide guided meditation sessions that activate the ‘rest and digest’ part of your nervous system, to help manage stress.
There’s no strange chanting, just work on your breathing as you zone out and forget about the cramped carriage, train announcements noisy passengers.
It might not be quite as easy as meditating in a quiet and serene space, but it’s far better for your mental health than listening to your fellow passengers argue over the last seat.
If you don’t live within walking distance to your office, there are a few tricks that can help you to incorporate more physical activity into your commute.
For a start, take the stairs. It might not seem like much, but trekking up 193 steps in Covent Garden station will definitely get your heart pumping.
For a slightly longer stint, why not get off the train a couple of stops before your destination and walk the rest of the journey?
Check out TFL’s 'walk the Tube' map for London. Showcasing the time it takes to walk between all of the stations on the Underground network, you might even find it cuts your journey down by a couple of minutes - unless you swing by one of our clubs for an Soulmate Juice, that is.
Instead of scouring the gossip columns or racking up a high score on Candy Crush, use your commute to plan your fitness goals.
Download our app, to view and book classes, or head over to our blog to discover the latest in-club innovations, effective techniques, or real-life fitness journeys.
By setting targets, creating to-do lists, or learning about new and exciting wellbeing practices, you’ll instantly feel more productive and view your travel time in a much more positive light.
Schedule a class you’ve always wanted to try, or figure out your next weight training session - you might not be active that moment, but it will help you to spring into action once you arrive at your destination.