Slip your heels or loafers into your bag, and lace up those walking shoes.
Assuming the distance between your home and workplace allows for it, there’s a whole slew of reasons to take a more active approach to your commute. (And yes, even ‘burbs-dwellers can reap the benefits by parking a little farther away from work and walking the rest of the way!) Check out our list below, and tell us in the comments — do you walk or bike to work?
1. It’s a way to get in some morning (and/or evening) exercise.
2. It’ll make you feel less strained. A recent study from researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Center for Diet and Activity Research found that people who switched their modes of commute from driving to walking or cycling experienced greater well-being, specifically a greater ability to concentrate and feeling less under strain.
4. It could help you think up a creative solution to that work problem. A Stanford University study showed that people do better on tests for creative thinking when they walk, compared with when they sit or are pushed in a wheelchair.
5. You’re being a good influence on those around you. Your partner and other coworkers are more likely to bike or walk to work if you do it, according to a Penn State University study.
6. It won’t take as long as you think it will. As HuffPost blogger Amy Arndt points out, it only takes her about 45 minutes to an hour to walk three miles. Just pop in the headphones and the time will fly by quicker than you realize!
7. You could be lowering your risk of chronic conditions. Walking and cycling instead of driving to work is associated with a lower risk of diabetes, according to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Walking to work is also associated with a lower risk of high blood pressure.
8. It could lessen your genetic tendency toward obesity. Researchers from Harvard presented a study in 2012 showing that it’s possible to cut the effects of a genetic predisposition to obesity in half if you walk at a brisk pace for an hour each day. And what better way to get in that hour of walking than by getting to work?
9. It’ll help you in the body fat arena. Researchers from the University of Quebec found that walking 10,000 steps a day or more is associated with smaller body fat percentage and lower weight among 50-to-70-year-old women. You know a good way to ensure you get more than 10,000 steps in your day? Walking to work.
10. It’ll get you in the right frame of mind for a busy workday ahead — or for a hectic evening at home. Walking outdoors through green spaces can actually put the mind in a meditative state, according to a 2013 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Other studies also show evidence that walking reduces stress.
11. Perhaps the best part of a non-car commute — you’ll avoid this:
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This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/16/walk-to-work-health-benefits_n_5823362.html