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Moving Towards Health

Commuting health hacks

Maggi Fitzpatrick
Posted 8/8/23

If you’ve ever had a long commute to work, you know how challenging it can be to stay on top of your health goals when a large part of your day is spent traveling. Not only does it take up …

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Moving Towards Health

Commuting health hacks


If you’ve ever had a long commute to work, you know how challenging it can be to stay on top of your health goals when a large part of your day is spent traveling. Not only does it take up precious time, that time spent commuting encourages us to make other parts of our lives more convenient. Unfortunately, convenience often comes at the cost of health. Thankfully, one doesn’t always have to come at the cost of the other if we can approach it from a health-first perspective. 

Taking a health-first perspective means that when we make decisions, we look at the decision’s impact on our health before we look at the other factors we deem important. In this case, we’re looking to make decisions that are positive for our health and also convenient. If we look for convenience first, there is no guarantee the decision will help us prioritize our health. 

As I mentioned in last week’s article about sports and the importance of recreation, I used to commute back and forth to Manhattan for work every day. This took up a total of four hours of my day, two hours there and two hours home. This time in my life highlighted the importance of the decisions I make surrounding my food, exercise, and other health habits. It helped me recognize that the small details are much bigger than they seem when we have plenty of time in our schedule. 

Although I’ll admit that it’s definitely harder to prioritize our health when we are in this situation, it’s not impossible and is very doable with the right planning. Here are my favorite tips for taking a health-first perspective while maintaining convenience when it comes to our exercise, food choices, and water consumption with a long commute.

The biggest change that helped both me and my clients prioritize exercise while managing a long commute is choosing a gym or place to workout that is on your route. I was much more consistent with my workouts when I went to the gym that was right around the block from my office building after work than I was when I tried to go to the gym near my house that I had to drive in the opposite direction to. 

When it comes to food, one of my favorite hacks is to pack your own food for however many meals you need to bring for the day. To maximize convenience, I like to cook extra when I am cooking or meal prep very simply by preparing a protein source and vegetables that can be easily packed each day. This makes eating in alignment with your goals much easier because less decisions will have to be made about what to eat, and all of your food is available to you whenever you want it.

Drinking water while commuting can be challenging, but is well worth the risk of having to stop to use the restroom. When we don’t drink water in the morning, we set ourselves up for dehydration throughout the day, which will leave you feeling much less than your best. Trust that even if you have to stop, drinking water while traveling will set you up for a better day than if you choose not to at the cost of being on time. If you’re looking to drink more water, I recommend investing in a water bottle you love that will fit in your cup holder or bag easily. 

Commuting can be a huge strain on our body and life, but can be managed by making decisions that prioritize our health first. We must accept where we are at any given moment and recognize that when we make decisions that are best for us within our current situation, we are able to be our best selves for those around us. 


Coach Maggi 


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