Monday, March 8, 2010

Get in shape, ride the bus

I love to exercise.  I’m into my bike, love being outside and recently I’ve started focusing on running, for the umpteenth time.  God willing I hope to do a half marathon this summer.  Exercise and I have always got along great but the amount of time I get to devote to it these days is limited between work and family life.  Like anything worth doing in life, it’s all about prioritizing what’s important.

When I started my bussing adventure I didn’t really think that I it would have any effect on my fitness but over the past several weeks I started to realize that the bus causes me to get quite a bit more walking in during the average day.

IMG_3834I also love data.  So last week I started to try to quantify the benefits of taking the bus.  My daily walk to the bus stop from my house = ~1200 steps and the walk from the bus stop to my office is another 150 or so.  x2 since I do that twice a day and I ‘m getting a bonus 2700 steps a day that I would not get with taking my car.  This morning I had an appointment before work which I walked to so by the time I walked into my office I was already over 3400 steps for the day and its only 9am.  If I do nothing else today but ride the bus home I’ll be close to 5000 steps.  With all the other walking I tend to just do in a day that gets me close to the recommended 10,000 steps a day without any focused time spent on exercise.

While riding the bus might not be the cure for our national obesity crisis, it certainly can’t hurt.  This is a benefit of taking the bus I really have never heard articulated before.  The bus should run a house ad about it. :)

Assuming my daughter is willing I plan to attach a pedometer to her tomorrow and see how many steps she gets in when we take the bus to preschool.  Her stride is smaller so in theory she should get more steps.  Besides she is 4 and runs everywhere.

I’m curious what your thoughts are?  Has anyone perceived health benefits from the walking associated with riding the bus?

6 comments:

  1. A buddy of mine walked 1.5 miles to the connector every day in the morning once he found out he was diabetic (he never looked out of shape) and within 6 months he had dropped a bunch of weight and had his blood sugar under control and he enjoyed his time on the bus (as a note his wife picked him up in the evening)

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  2. I really miss the walking I got in when I lived in NYC. It made a big difference. You have to walk everywhere once you get off the subway or bus. You also have to do lots of steps if you take the subway. It was always funny to have out-of-town visitors when living in NYC--they could never keep up the pace and were always half a block behind! Now, living in the burbs, I have to make an extra effort to find walking time. Also, it's hard to find a walkway in a park near my home that isn't full of goose poop!

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  3. I'd ask you how much it's saving you in health club benefits, but both the bus and proclub are free. :-D

    Secret bus riding exercise tip: DON'T SIT DOWN! Your hips and thighs will get an extra work out as you counteract the stops, starts, and turns of the bus!

    ;)

    I miss my walks through Volunteer Park each morning on the way to the bus. Maybe I'll land a vendor position at MS through the summer, and I can enjoy it a bit more before I leave town.

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  4. Julia:

    I know what you mean about walking in NYC with out-of-town visitors.

    I live in the Midwest now, and go places with my family by car most of the time, but I grew up in New York. A few years ago, I took my family to New York; and as soon as I hit Manhattan, my New York sense of distance kicked in. When we were finished with one tourist destination (e.g. Battery Park) and wanted to go to another (e.g. Chinatown), I'd say "oh, that's just a short walk away," and lead my family on a long (in their view) and exhausting trek.

    After a few of these hikes, my wife would not trust my assurances anymore, and we started relying on the bus and train. Fortunately, the car was parked in New Jersey.

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  5. I started riding to work on a bus 1-1/2 years ago. My trip requires walking 1-1/2 miles to the bus stop. During that time I lost 20 pounds. My doctor cut my high blood pressure medicine by 2/3 and I walked in 6 marathons. Highly recommended!

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