Active travel implies that there is such a thing as passive travel; and that, most often than not, is what we mean when we generally refer to traveling.
Passive travel simply means utilizing little or no physical effort to move from one place to another. Think of commuting for 1 hour to and from work in a public bus daily.
Active travel, also known as active mobility or transportation, involves the use of physical activity for transit and locomotion. For most people, active travel can mean doing for yourself what you’d normally leave for an automobile. Examples of active travel forms are walking and cycling. Using a scooter can also be classified as active travel.
Why active travel?
A large number of scientific studies have reported an inverse relationship between physical activity and lifestyle diseases such as stroke, heart diseases, and diabetes. A major modifiable risk factor for non-communicable diseases, as described by the World Health Organization (WHO), is Physical Inactivity.
Physical inactivity has been described as achieving less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. It is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality by WHO.
Given the common reasons for not participating in exercises like busy schedules and lack of motivation, active travel can provide a gateway to the recommended levels of physical activity.
Moreover, as the planet is gradually becoming a furnace, we need a decreased reliance on fossil fuel usage. As such, leverage active travel won’t only be of health benefits but also environmental and global benefit. That will continually be the case even as we enter an epoch of green vehicles, power supply, and more.
How to incorporate active travel into your lifestyle
One way to incorporate active travel into your lifestyle is by setting out time to travel actively. A destination might not be in mind but accumulating up to 30 minutes of hiking or cycling per week will achieve the aim of active travel.
A much more practical alternative would be to incorporate it into your already planned lifestyle little by little. Take for instance you are traveling to work in your car. Rather than parking in your usual spot, you park 15 minutes away from your office. That way, you’ll accumulate 30 minutes of physical to and from your office each workday. The same goes for taking a public vehicle.
Even better is going to work or any other destination on a bicycle, depending on the distance you have to cover. Also, rather than use the elevator, taking the stairs is another great way to travel actively.
For those who don’t have much distance to cover – your workplace may just be a few blocks away – taking a longer route can help you achieve your active travel goal.
While governmental policies for active travel are still only in select parts of the world, and also with the state of infrastructure wherever you may find yourself (your roads may not be bicycle-friendly), there’s always a way you can incorporate active travel into your lifestyle with the ultimate aim of a healthier you.
You can contact a physiotherapist to help you achieve your physical activity goal using active travel.