Thursday, January 19, 2017
The One Small Change I've Made to My Commute
The other night, after work, I had my gym gear in my bag and was signed up for the HIIT bootcamp class near my house. But as the evening progressed, I was convinced that I felt "under the weather" and that I was too tired to do a bazillion jumping jacks in front of a roomful of women I didn't know to a blaring soundtrack of the Top 40 chart.
Ten minutes later, squashed between a man's armpit and a girl who wouldn't give up reading her magazine in favor of holding on to a rail so she leaned on me instead, I tumbled out of the tube's unbearably busy Central line and was filled with a rage so deep-seated, I couldn't wait to do a bazillion jumping jacks in front of a roomful of women I didn't know to a blaring soundtrack of the Top 40 chart.
I think I practically ran to class that night. And, luckily for me, the warm-up for class that evening involved a lot of air-punching.
Let's just say that I got a great workout.
I live about 20 minutes away from the closest underground station (and about 8 minutes from the Overground) and, prior to the beginning of the year, didn't think twice about hopping on the bus to get to the tube, since the stop was just 30 seconds from my front door.
But. I recently started walking to the station instead - rain or shine - and my goodness. It's made such a big, big difference to my day and my overall mental health. Getting that fresh air first thing in the morning and walking at a brisk pace (because I swear I'm London's fastest walker - ask any of my friends/family and they'll tell you so) makes me arrive at work awake, alert, and refreshed.
In fact, since I've been walking (it's been about 3 weeks now), I've noticed I'm less anxious when I'm in stressful situations (the tube repeatedly stopped in a tunnel for eight minutes at a time the other day and, while two people around me had panic attacks, I was able to stay calm) and I generally feel a little more ... positive.
Another plus? I've been getting to work earlier, which is blissful when you're someone who values "settling in" to her workspace every day before everyone else arrives.
I've also traded out my sugary snacks for apples, oatcakes and cashew nut butter (but who am I kidding - let's see how long that lasts!), which has helped stabilize my blood sugar levels so I don't crash and end up eating anything sweet within reach.
I had no idea something so simple (and, I'll admit, something John had been suggesting to me for ages) would make such a huge difference.
What is your commute like? Do you drive? Walk? Take public transport? Let me know!