Your Health: When it comes to physical fitness a little bit can go a long way. Choosing alternative modes of transportation over driving your car or truck may have a significant impact on your health. Ride your bike, take that short walk to the bus station, or make it a longer walk and go all the way to your destination. Chances are that you’ll see the benefits start to add up. In a 2015 study, public transportation users were found to be 44% less likely to be overweight, 27% less likely to have high blood pressure, and 34% less likely to have diabetes than drivers.
Your Society: When you take public transportation you are supporting your local community in a number of ways. First and foremost you are creating a demand, which leads to jobs. The more people who utilize buses, subways, and rails, the more employees are required to operate them. Bonding with fellow commuters and foregoing automotive traffic are both ways to reduce mental stress. And the fewer cars that are on the road, the less air pollution there is in the air, which has a direct relationship with respiratory and heart disease.
Buses, Light Rail, and Subways: They key to a successful ride on public transport is planning. Know where you’re coming from, where you’re going, and go online to find the most direct path offered by your local transit authority. In most cases you will be able to determine the cost of your trip once you have the route worked out. Some systems utilize pre-purchased passes available at the station, while others may require exact change – planning ahead will help you know what you need to do. If you get confused, or require help, don’t be afraid to ask drivers, engineers, or other officials for assistance (some districts offer training ahead of time, so get in touch with your local authority to find out the best way to get familiar with your city’s system).
Bicycles: Not only are bikes a wonderful exercise, but they are also a handy mode of transportation. Choosing to ride a bike is a relatively inexpensive investment (not to mention the money you will save on gas). To get started you’ll need two things: a bike and a helmet. Be sure that you’re wearing bright clothing so drivers can spot you, consider bringing water for longer trips, and keep your cellphone and ID on you in case of emergencies. Many cities have bike paths specifically for riders, so check your route before you go for the safest possible way. For more bicycling tips check out the blog, Get Biking.
Walking: No matter how you decide to travel you’re going to do some walking. Buses, light rails, subways, and bikes can only get you so far. Do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair of walking shoes that fit your arch comfortably. Of course, as with all travelling, you’ll want to plan your route ahead of time to ensure that it will be a safe walk. Even some places that are within walking distance may contain hills or other obstacles that can make a path less than ideal. Looking for even more walking tips? This Walk This Way blog has you covered.
Environmentally-friendly transportation is a fun, easy way to get around town with multiple physical, societal, and environmental benefits. As with all new activities, talk to your physician before taking part to ensure that you’re ready and able. Have fun as you explore your hometown!