Monday, July 05, 2010

Commuting to Work

I have been riding my bike to work recently.  I started the Friday before last and rode everyday last week, so I'm currently "riding a streak" of 6 work days in a row.  It has felt really great, and I plan on trying to continue that streak as long as I can.

My ride to or from work is just about 5 miles one-way, depending on exactly what route I decide to take.  I try to leave around 630am to give myself plenty of time in case I get a flat or something else happens that might make me late.  As a part of my daily routine, I like to stop at Starbucks for an iced coffee before work, and to get to Starbucks it takes me about 20 minutes.  I usually hang out there and drink my coffee for 10 or 15 minutes, and from Starbucks to work is only about 4 or 5 more minutes.  So I usually get to work between 715 and 725, which gives me plenty of time to shower and clean up before I start work at 8.

As far as I can see it, there is no downside.  My drive to work is just under 5 miles, so I'm saving 10 miles worth of gas everyday, which in my car is most of a gallon.  Aside from saving $3/day on gas, I'm also saving the extra miles on my car, which anyone who read my post about used cars knows is part of my plan to be energy efficient and earth-friendly.  Also, even after a couple of nights when I didn't get much sleep, the morning rides have been extremely pleasant and are a fantastic way to start my day.  I haven't had a single ride yet that I've regretted doing, and I'm usually in a great mood by the time I get off of my bike.

This all also ties in with my weight loss goals for 2010.  I haven't yet started to see any accelerated results in my actual weight, because I think I'm building muscle in my legs and butt, however I have seen an almost 3% drop in body fat percentage in just the week and a half since I started riding, while my weight has stayed almost exactly the same during that same time.  Eventually, my muscles will build up to a plateau, and if my body fat loss continues the way it has been going, I'll start to shed pounds like a shingles off a roof in a tornado.  Of course, if I meet or exceed my goal of weighing 200 lbs by the end of 2010 early, I'll update my goal to something that I think is reasonable for whatever time is remaining in the end of the year.

So what does all of this have to do with homesteading?  Directly, not much.  However, in just a weeks time I've noticed myself having an uplifted mood and more energy during the day, and of course having a healthy mind and body is probably going to have a positive impact on achieving my goals.  Being healthy is a major reason I want to have a homestead, and the sooner I become healthy the more I'll be able to enjoy my healthy homestead living because I'll be in a better position to live a longer life.  Finally, during the hour or so that it takes me to ride to work each day, I have a lot of time to think, some of which I have spent daydreaming about or even planning projects, sorting out things that are on my mind, or just enjoying being outside.  When I drive to work, I have to focus on my driving and on traffic, and I'm usually more than a little stressed out by the traffic.  I think those factors probably account for most of my improved mood each day.

I'm setting a small goal for July.  I have 19 work days remaining for the month of July, and I would like to ride at least 17 of them.  I want to say all 19 of them, but I feel like it is better to set the goal a little bit low and exceed it than it is to set it as high as it can go and then fail to accomplish it.  I look forward to seeing what my mood, my body, and the scale have to say about all of my riding at the end of July.  If you are curious how my rides and other exercise is going, I keep an online journal of my workouts on the DailyMile website, and you can view my DailyMile profile here.

What are you doing to improve you health, your environment, or just your mood?  Leave a comment and let me know if you also ride to work, if you take some other alternative means to get to work or if my post has made you consider doing so, or anything else that reading might've made you think about.  And of course, thanks for reading!

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