How to have an active commute – European Mobility Week

Today marks the start of European Mobility Week – an initiative to promote active, sustainable mobility across Europe.  This year’s theme is Safe and Healthy with Sustainable Mobility which will pay tribute to the hardships felt across the world throughout the pandemic.

In a bid to not only promote active mobility but also promote healthy behaviours for both mind and body, the campaign will work with thousands of towns across Europe with a variety of schemes and events.

As a motor insurance company, we love driving, but we also know the importance of having an active lifestyle. Like everything in life, it’s important to have a balance and so opting for a walk or a cycle can have its benefits including being more efficient (particularly in large, busy cities), while providing a nice boost for your body.

To help support European Mobility Week, here are a few ways you can become a more active, sustainable commuter in your day-to-day life.

Try an active commute

According to a recent study, active commuting (cycling or walking) has a lower risk of developing heart disease and cancer. The rate was 46% lower for heart disease and 45% lower for cancer in cyclists.

Even if you opt to commute on foot or bike for a few days a week, you will soon see some benefits on your physical and mental health.

If you live too far away to commute in an active way, just getting in a bit of physical activity throughout the day can help. If you’re trying to get more active, start slow with a simple walk for 5-10 minutes and build up over time. Your goal for each day should be around 30 minutes of physical activity. This can be one 30-minute block or even three ten-minute blocks across the day.

Get active behind the wheel

If you are driving, there are steps you can take, even when behind the wheel, to be more active during your commute. Some simple exercises while stationary can help burn a few calories and tone those muscles. Here are some of our favourites:

Seated Side Bend – Sit up, with your fingers clasped behind your head then slowly bend to either side as far as possible.

Calf Raises – Put both of your feet flat on the floor, then raise your heels putting your weight on the balls of your feet contracting your calves. You can also rock backwards onto your heels to stretch your shins.

Seat Pushes – Exercise your triceps by gripping the wheel tightly at 10 and 2. With your elbows relaxed and bent, straighten them, and push back into your seat and steering wheel to stretch your triceps.

Be more sustainable by car sharing on your commute

You can reduce your environmental impact and become a more sustainable commuter by car sharing. If you live near friends or colleagues, sharing the ride can be a great way to be a more environmentally responsible driver.

It could mean as many as four fewer cars on the road that day, but there are other, non-environmental impacts to consider. If you’re planning to share the drive with others, or let someone else use your car while sharing, make sure you’re properly insured to do so.

Even if you have a fully comprehensive policy, you may find that your insurance doesn’t cover the driving of other cars or will have certain restrictions on what is and isn’t covered when driving another car.

A simple way to avoid these headaches is with temporary car insurance, which gives you the cover you need to drive another vehicle or let another drive yours without the need to adjust any existing cover.

Available from just 1 hour up to 28 days at a time, it’s ideal for those occasions when you need cover for just a little while.

Getting a quote takes just 90 seconds online, so you can get the cover you need quickly and easily anytime.

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