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Turn a Walk or Bike Ride Into A Fake Commute And Feel Better

Bike at the beach at sundown

There is a case for faking it till you make it to lift your spirits as we continue staying put a trend to try that can help restore balance in your life. Replacing the ritual commute by taking a walk or going for a bike ride at the beginning and end of the day can help you feel healthier and happier.

With UCLA’s official announcement that faculty and staff currently working from home would continue to do so through spring quarter and, students also committed to learning from home till June, commuting as most Bruins know it remains at a full stop for the next six months.

Surveys conducted during the pandemic show some people have ended up plugging the time spent commuting into working more hours each day.

The line separating home life has gotten blurrier, and that isn’t good for health and wellbeing. This is where the “fake commute” comes in: to provide a transition and establish a healthier boundary. Here’s why you should switch the ignition on a fake commute and walk or bike. 

Energize Your Morning

Break that habit of jumping from under the covers in bed to upright in front of the computer. Instead, set yourself up for a more productive day by taking a walk or going for a bike ride before you shift into work or school mode. A brisk stroll around the block or pedal through the neighborhood will wake your whole body up and help you mentally prepare for the day ahead.

It's critical to take time for yourself before devoting it to your organization, boss, colleagues, instructors, or classes. Your job or academic performance will be the better for it. 

Take Care of your Mind and Body

Countless research has shown exercise like walking and biking helps reduce stress and improve mood. Physical activity can also boost your immunity and cardiovascular and respiratory health.

All the data isn’t in yet, but doctors and health care workers are seeing a lot of aches and pains from people stuck at home all day, maintaining the same position for hours on end. Movement helps your bones, joints, brain, heart, and lungs. Turning a walk or bike ride into a fake commute could be just the mental and physical relief you need.  

Create a Barrier Between Work and Home

A great way to establish a boundary between work and home? Create a “route” where you depart one place, and arrive at another, for example, getting up at the end of the day, taking a walk outside, and not revisiting your workspace until the next morning (and only after you’ve started the day with another fake commute). Pre-pandemic and campus closure, the typical commute was the pause that signaled the time to transition from school or working hours to leisure time. Adopting a fake commute recreates that clear division.

Photo credit: Chris Giza