Turning a commute to work into an opportunity for fitness
At GoFamz, we believe that the greatest successes in health and fitness happen when they become a normal (and fun) part of our everyday lives. And we are seeing people achieve some amazing things in communities all across the country. Some of these people never dreamed they would be able to run, or bike, or hike and live such active lives. Many never imaged they could feel so good.
From the small Midwest town of Sedalia, Missouri, Scott Smith has turned his commute into an opportunity to lose weight, get fit, and feel great! Scott recently shared his story with us:
What first motivated you to pursue fitness?
I was advised last year by my family physician that I was mildly obese and becoming borderline diabetic. I began by trying to watch what I eat and control portion sizes. However, I remained mostly sedentary other than being at work. Needless to say this didn't go very well…
When did you begin cycling? Why cycling?
I half-heartedly attempted cycling in the spring but for reasons I can’t put my finger on, the conviction and dedication just weren’t there. By mid-summer I had a change in conviction and drive. I wanted to feel better and look better. I chose cycling because it fits into my daily routine much easier than trying to set aside time for a trip to the gym or a lengthy walk or run. I can ride to and from work and get good exercise while accomplishing a secondary goal of transportation.
What are some of fitness successes you've had?
When I began riding in July I was riding 3.6 miles directly to and from work for a total of 7.2 miles per day. I have since varied my route and the days of the week I ride to allow for better rest and recovery. I’ve also begun pushing myself to ride further, at a faster pace, and with better breathing control. It is not uncommon for me to ride 9 to 11 miles a day… and love every mile.
Also, I recently had my annual physical and was told I had lost 10% of my body weight! All my tests came back with amazing improvements in blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. My Dr. wrote, "Great improvements in your numbers thanks to your health and lifestyle changes, see you next year!" which has given me added drive to continue exercising and eating healthfully.
How do you balance health and fitness with other family responsibilities?
Since I use my commute time for my exercise it really doesn't affect my family responsibilities in any way. Riding integrates nicely into my family’s lifestyle.
What are some of the challenges you've experienced?
Some challenges are the occasional ridicule from others who don't understand my dedication to being fit. "You’re eating that rabbit food again?" or "You’re seriously going to ride that bike home in the rain and cold?" But I take this in stride, knowing that the rewards far overshadow the ridicule. Aside from that, there are the common hurdles of watching my diet and avoiding cravings as well as staying motivated to do my exercise daily and not taking too many days off.
What are your health and fitness goals for the future?
Continuing my weekly exercise regimen and watching what I eat to remain healthy and fit even after I reach my weight loss goal. I also have a strong desire to continue cycling even more... Looking forward a long century or charity style ride.
Describe your perfect ride.
Most any ride is a great ride but nice weather is always a desire.... between 45-65 degrees with little to no wind and sunshine of course... Rides with no exact destination or time schedule are nice too... Let's just ride!!