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7 Ways To Well Spend Your Commute

7 Ways To Well Spend Your Commute

Work commutes of any type can be emotionally and physically draining. On the positive side, having a lot of time on your hands while you are en route to work can be a blessing in disguise if you use it wisely. There are ways you can use this time without getting distracted on the road. Here are benefits for making the most out of your time during your dreaded daily commute.

1.You can use this time to think through specific issues

Do you have a certain problem you have been trying to solve in your personal life or an important business meeting that is coming up soon? This extra time during your commute is the perfect block of time to think through issues without being constantly interrupted. You might find a solution to your problems if you allow yourself to think about the problem without distractions. Dedicating time to a certain dilemma in your life first thing in the morning allows you to come up with new solutions since your brain is fresh.

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2. You can learn to de-stress

Your commute may seem like the last place you would find some solitude, but putting on some calming music which will help lower your blood pressure and allow you to arrive to work ready to face the day. If you are driving to work, add a little extra zen by spraying some relaxing scents, like lavender in your car to enhance the mood.

3. You can learn to be more mindful

Along the same lines as learning to find calm during your commute, you can also learn to practice being mindful on the way to work. The first step is to unplug and turn off your phone so that it does not create any distractions. If you are driving, focus on your surroundings, then acknowledge and accept your surroundings without negative thoughts (yes it’s hard!). If you are on public transportation, do the same thing with your fellow commuters and any frustrating scenarios that may come up. It takes practice and patience, but learning how to react to a stressful situation with a neutral and even positive approach can be beneficial for life in general.

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4. You can stay up-to-date on the world news

Do you hardly feel like you have time to keep up with what is going on in your city, let alone the world? Download a news podcast that will keep you informed about international news, without you feeling like you need to only skim the global headlines before rushing out the door.

5. You can use this time to educate yourself

Who says learning stops after you finish your formal schooling? Find a podcast on a subject that you have always been curious about, but never took the time to learn more about. Ask your co-workers, friends, and family members for recommendations on their favorites as well. Learning something new in the morning also makes your brain more alert and ready to tackle any tasks at work with a fresh eye.

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6. You can learn a new language

Have you ever wanted to learn a new language, but never seemed to find the time in your daily routine to practice? Use your commute as an opportunity to brush-up on your Italian or try out Arabic. There are plenty of apps and podcasts to download on your phone free of charge that can help you practice your verb tenses or pronunciation, whether you are stuck on the midtown train or in traffic.

7. You can “read” the book you have always wanted to

Have you always wanted to dive into a book, but always get sidetracked by Netflix or Instagram? Your commute is the perfect time to do this, whether you are in a car or the subway. If you are driving, audio books are a great solution and can keep you entertained for hours.

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Featured photo credit: Incumbents /Erin Nekervis via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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