Home » Your Health » 6 Tips for a Healthier, Happier, Saner Commute

6 Tips for a Healthier, Happier, Saner Commute

If you commute to work or school, in a car no less, you already know (firsthand) why sitting in a car after sitting at a desk all day isn’t doing you any favors.

From tight hip flexors to back and neck strain to unintended weight gain, hoping behind the wheel to commute to and from your desk job definitely carries it’s share of negative health woes. Luckily, you can have a happier, healthier commute by following these simple tips…

1. Mind Your Posture

Mom used to nag you to, “sit up straight” for good reason. However, with no sight of dear mom during your long-sitting commute to and from the office, someone has to be on back preserving duty.

Thankfully, we get some expert tips on sitting from Amy Fiske, an NSCA-certified personal trainer, who recommends keeping the back straight by drawing you navel up and in while you lift through the crown of the head (just like in yoga class). You may lose momentum, but  you can relax and repeat as you drive. Also, with your hands on the steering wheel, pull back through the shoulders like you’re holding an egg between your shoulder blades, and hold for 10 seconds.


2. Practice Car Aromatherapy

It may sound silly to scent your vehicle, but considering you spend a few hours breathing the air (and those leftover fast food wrappers under your seat), a little smell therapy may improve your mood and even calm you during your hectic commute.

According to research from ScienceDaily.com, pleasant, natural scented oils, like lavender, can blast those nasty car smells while calming your need to put pedal to the metal and commit vehicular crimes against your fellow drivers.


3. Carpool

While you may talk to yourself during your commute, having a carpool buddy may occupy you with lively conversation and improve your mood on your drive.

Studies show that a bit of social interaction during your commuter can break up boredom, relieve stress, keep you more alert, reduce expenses, reduce pollution, and if you’re sharing the costs or taking turns, conserve resources too.


4. Walk When Possible

I do a pretty equal share of working from home, working in the office, and commuting to and from said office during my work week. Because some days require more sitting then others, I break up alternate days and my time at home by walking as much as possible.

For example, my days at the office involve a lunch hour walk. And any errands I do in the evenings, I tend to do close to home so I can walk. I also make sure to park my car far from the door at my office and take the stairs vs. the elevator to the third floor.

walk to office

5. Choose Your Rush Hour Jam Wisely

Although the artists vary on my morning and evening drives to and from the office, they tend to have a few things in common. Firstly, they’re positive in lyrics (I’m a writer so I pick up on these things) and they’re more mellow in tempo.

Surveys show that drivers who opt for up-tempo rock or heavy metal on their commutes experienced more road rage followed by greater incidence of vehicle collision. So download some relaxing tunes on your drive home mix for a calmer, happier commute.


6. Bring Healthy Snacks

Just like you fuel your car, you should fuel your body for the drive to and from the office. Starting off half asleep with no coffee or oatmeal can make you a hazard on the roads.

Keep your mood and energy high by touting along some healthy and convenient snack options (i.e., unsalted nuts, grapes, fruits slices, or a green smoothie) that don’t require too much hand/eye attention. You can also prevent road rage and plummeting blood sugar on the way home with a well timed snack.






We Recommend

More on ActiveBeat
  • 10 Tips for Perfect Posture
    If you’ve seen your mom lately, she probably told you to stand up straight. When we spend our days sitting in front of computer screens, driving, or looking down at paperwork,...
    Your Health
  • 5 Forms of Workout Bribery that Work!
    How do you motivated yourself to work out? Do you put your sneakers by the door and sinfully avoid looking at them on your way out the door each morning?
    Your Health
  • 8 Tips for Preventing Hearing Loss
    There are few things more frustrating than having to ask someone to repeat what they just said because you couldn’t quite make it out.
    Your Health
  • Fitting in Lunchtime Fitness
    It's worth setting aside an hour a day for your health!  Incorporating a workout into your lunch hour really doesn't take much time, but it does take planning. Luckily, Fix.
    Your Health
  • 18 Reasons You Feel Tired All of the Time
    It’s a problem many of us have to deal with—feeling tired in the middle of the day. It’s a costly problem.
    Your Health
  • 13 Health Symptoms of Prolonged Mold Exposure
    Mold is literally everywhere; in our homes, outside, and even in our food. However, while it sometimes goes unnoticed to many, some Americans might be exposed to higher amounts of...
    Your Health
  • 12 Ways to Speed Up Recovery After Surgery
    We all know that surgeons are very precise and that surgical procedures have come a long way over the years, but the truth is, you're still having a knife (or laser) making a hole...
    Your Health
  • 6 Facts for Women with Vericose Veins
    Varicose veins. You know the ones that appear in snakes of raised, swollen blood vessels under the skin, are unfairly more common in women than men.
    Your Health
  • Tuberculosis: 12 Symptoms and Risk Factors
    Tuberculosis, which is commonly referred to as TB, is an infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs, although it can spread to other areas of the body such as the kidneys,...
    Your Health
  • 13 Health Reasons for Dizziness That Will Make Your Head Spin
    It happens to all of us at one time or another—we get a bit dizzy for a moment and have to brace ourselves.
    Your Health
  • Plug Into These 14 Impacts Technology Has on Health
    Sure, technology has been an ally in many ways in the medical world – for example, more advanced imaging and diagnostics are saving lives by catching problems earlier, and...
    Your Health
  • 7 Facts on Mental Health Awareness for Mental Health Week
    This week, May 2 to 6, 2016, marks Mental Health Week in Canada. We use this week as a means to open the discussion surrounding mental health in our country and around the world.
    Your Health
  • Earn While You Burn Doing These 8 Physically Demanding Jobs
    We all need to do something for a living, unless we've won the lottery or come across a briefcase full of money.
    Your Health
  • 6 Tips for Better Sports Eye Safety
    It's April again, which means another Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month is upon us. Whether you're a professional athlete, the most amateur of sportsmen, or somewhere in between,...
    Your Health
  • 7 Ways for Introverts to Shine in Life and Work
    Introverts. They're not always the loudest in the room, and that may be for good reason. It's not that introverts are all shy—that's a common misconception—it's that introverts...
    Your Health