Food & Fitness

Poll: How much do you drive?

Coconut Oil Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil is… Diane of Fit to the Finish! I chose Diane for two reasons: 1) She has an aversion to coconut, like I do, so I’m curious to see if she’ll become a convert ;), and 2) It was Mother’s Day this past weekend, and as a mother of seven, I think Diane is deserving of an awesome giveaway to celebrate her motherhood. Congratulations Diane! Email me (sagan.morrow[at]gmail[dot]com) your mailing address and I’ll ensure that Tropical Traditions gets you your coconut oil.

All of the comments on this giveaway post were fantastic! I was amazed at the variety of uses some of you have found for coconut oil: using it in protein bars or ice cream, on popcorn, as a body lotion, as shaving cream, added to dry cereal, putting it into oats, as a cream for rash on a baby’s bum, in smoothies, rubbed onto arthritic joints, and as a way to improve your love life. You don’t need to get a face lift when you’ve got this kind of natural magic ingredient 🙂

You can also check out the comments on that post to see recipe ideas for homemade deodorant, lip balm, essential oils, bath salts, and fudge balls. There are some seriously creative souls that are reading and living healthy in the real world!

Last month’s poll

April’s poll asked the question, How much do you read? With a total of 36 respondents, 88.9% had read a book in the last week (and most of them, it turned out from the comments at the end of the post, had read a book earlier that day or the night before!), 5.6% had read a book in the last month, 2.8% had read a book in the last couple of months, 0% fell into the category of “within the last six months”, 0% fell into the category of “within the last year”, and 2.8% couldn’t remember the last time they had read a book. It’s great that there are so many passionate readers among us! Reading is the mental version of weight-lifting 🙂

This month’s poll

After our previous discussion and poll about how much lifestyle activity we do every day, I began to think about how much time we spend sedentary every day, for transportation purposes. I was particularly thinking about this one morning last week as I walked the hour and twenty minutes to work in the pouring rain. There were bus stops the whole way along, and I kept considering taking the bus, and then changing my mind. After all, I was already as drenched as I was going to be, so I might as well get in a little bit of exercise at the same time! (Plus the idea of stopping to stand still in the rain while I waited for a bus just didn’t seem like much fun).

I’ve made a sort of deal with myself. I walk to work every morning for an hour and twenty minutes, and then I accept the mother dear’s offer for a ride home afterwards (the mother dear is my boss at my current job). It’s about a fifteen-minute drive home at the end of the day. Even though I’m only working part-time, I still might get in a car or on a bus on weekends or on weeknights for social occasions. Because of that, I round up to guess that if it were all distributed evenly, I might spend about 15 minutes each day sitting in a vehicle.

That’s 105 minutes a week of doing nothing. An hour and 45 minutes! I could be blogging during that time! 🙂

I’ve been considering an idea. What if, in addition to our usual activity (involving lifestyle and “extra” exercise), we started counteracting the sedentary act of sitting in a vehicle by exercising for the same amount of time?

For instance, it would be 15 minutes per day (roughly) for me: if I can take 15 minutes out of my day to sit in a car, then I can probably add in another 15 minutes somewhere else in my day to do a little more activity. Perhaps I could do jumping jacks for five minutes, core exercises for five minutes, and lift weights for the last five minutes. Alternatively, when I get home at the end of the day, I could go for a quick 15-minute walk around the neighbourhood. Truth be told, it seems much more likely that I would stick with it if I decided to cut out 15 minutes from my day: walking is a pleasure to me in a way that other forms of exercises aren’t quite.

At the end of the day, I usually accept the car ride home because it’s just not appealing to walk for an hour and twenty minutes after being at work. But if I knew that I was getting a ride home at the end of the day, and then went for a short walk when I arrived home, that would totally be doable. I can’t possibly be so tired after work that I can’t go for a fifteen-minute walk! No excuses.

But I’m also lucky that I live in the centre of the city: if you commute from the suburbs or from out of town every day, and your drive is an hour one-way, then exercising for an extra two full hours each day- in addition to whatever exercise you might already do- would not be very appealing, I’m sure! In that case, I encourage you to exercise your imagination as well as your physical body by pretending you live much closer to your work than you actually do. Maybe there’s a nice house a few blocks from where you work, or a condo building just ten minutes walking distance from your workplace. Pretending it is “your home”, figure out how far away it is from your workplace and use that as your marker to decide how much extra exercise you’ll add into your day. Is it a ten-minute walk one-way? Even a five-minute walk? Then add in an extra twenty or just ten minutes of exercise to your usual regime!

If it’s worth it to wake up early in the morning to commute a half an hour or an hour to work, then it’s worth it to go for a walk around the block in the evening.

Answer the poll below and elaborate in the comments: what obstacles do you face with fitting in exercise around your daily commute? Could you add an extra fifteen minutes of walking into your day (or an extra 105 minutes per week)?

[polldaddy poll=3158496]


  1. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman

    Thankfully, I now only spend about 20 minutes max in the car daily. My work is really close. A year and a half ago, though, and that number would be jacked up to four hours daily. My commute was so long and with traffic it could be up to two hours each way. Needless to say, after a year of that I moved close to work. It was a long, long, long year.

  2. Holly

    My commute (to/from) is about one hour total, or a little over. I don’t think I could take much more! A big part of why I work out in the morning is so that I don’t have it hanging over my head throughout the day – commuting home just leaves me so tired, and it’s nice to have my workout done so I can work or do other things.

  3. Sagan Morrow

    Tracey- When my family lived overseas, I had to take the bus to school because it was so far away; again, when I was in high school, I lived outside of the city so it was a 45-minute or an hour-long commute (depending on the weather and if I took a car or the bus). I can’t imagine spending that much time just SITTING now; I’d get so impatient, I’m sure! I’d far rather spend over an hour walking to my workplace.

    Holly- Morning workouts are my favourite precisely because of that. I ENJOY exercise, but even so, by the end of the day we’re generally so tired that the idea of exercise isn’t SUPER appealing. Exercising in the morning can make the workout much more doable.

  4. Dr. J

    Firstly, there is value in spending time doing nothing 🙂

    I live a minimum of 10 minutes by car from any place with a cash register. I have biked to the grocery store plenty of death defying times along roads where a rider or runner is well down the food chain.

    Does flying my plane count as time in a vehicle?

    The hospital is 15-20 minutes from the house depending on the time of day or night or emergency involved in the drive.

    In med school I lived in “Center City,” and biked or walked everywhere.

    I probably do better than 99% of people with being “green” but still feel I could do better.

  5. Sagan Morrow

    Dr. J- GREAT point. Yes, there is certainly value in spending time doing nothing. But I think- I THINK- that much of the time when we’re driving to and from work, it’s not exactly a relaxing “doing nothing” process. Or, it can be, but at the same time, it is still good to get out there and MOVE if/when we can. We can always do better at living greener! And yes, traffic is DEFINITELY a major problem. The lack of bike paths is a pain in my city, too. We just have to do what we can, when we can; when we can’t, we can’t! (But we can still find other ways in our lives to live a bit greener or exercise a bit more ;)).

  6. Sagan Morrow

    Steve- That’s awesome that you can use the time as a sort of meditation!

    Miz- I HEAR YA on living in a more pedestrian/biker-friedly place. I kinda get the feeling that most of the drivers around here get annoyed if I’m walking across the street. Yeesh.

    Emergefit- That’s awesome! But your position is also why I said that this is a GENERALIZED poll 😉 You must get into a car, bus, taxi, plane, train, tram etc at some point, no? Say you go on a roadtrip during the summer. Or you fly even just across the country. Those hours will add up and contribute to a generalized “commute time”, and if you spread them out across days and weeks, you’d wind up with being in a vehicle for 5-15 minutes per day, for example. Make sense? 🙂 PS Thanks for the link!

  7. the Bag Lady

    If it is a work day, I spend an hour in my vehicle, but the 5 hours at work are spent on the go (walking is a big part of my job, especially on the days when I keep forgetting the tools I need to accomplish the task at hand. Sigh)

    On the days I don’t work, I am rarely in my vehicle, but try to stay on the move.

  8. Pingback: America the Beautiful | Living Healthy in the Real World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *