How to improve your daily commute | Inquirer Technology

How to improve your daily commute

02:15 PM December 14, 2023

Commuting is a part of daily life for most worldwide. Whether a student or an employee, you probably dread riding your combination of trains, buses, and jeepneys to the school or office. Fortunately, there are many ways to make everyday trips more convenient and even productive.

A massive survey from Korea’s Inha University found a link between commuting and poor mental health. “With less time to spare, people could be short of time to relieve stress and combat physical fatigue,” the researchers told the Korea Biomedical Review. Fortunately, you could mitigate those effects with these tips.

This article will discuss how to improve your daily commute. These include common methods like watching online courses and relaxing along with lesser-used ones.


The 10 ways to make commuting better

  1. Learn to relax
  2. Add physical activities
  3. Pack snacks and drinks
  4. Improve your comfort
  5. Finish work tasks
  6. Learn new skills
  7. Master a new language
  8. Do something fun
  9. Meditate
  10. Do nothing

1. Learn to relax

Commuting typically involves sitting in a vehicle for long periods but relaxing can be difficult. Fortunately, Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) could help you relax your muscles.


Healthline says American physician Edmund Jacobson invented PMR in the 1920s. He discovered you can relax a muscle by tensing it and then releasing it.

Jacobson also found it can relax the mind. Here is a short and simple Progressive Muscle Relaxation routine from MindTools:

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  1. Raise your eyebrows as high as you can.
  2. Close your eyes as tightly as possible and keep them shut for five seconds.
  3. Open your mouth as wide as possible, as if you’re yawning.
  4. Hold your arms in front of you and clench your fists as tightly as possible.
  5. Then, pull your shoulder muscles up toward your ears.
  6. Bend your arms and tense your biceps as tightly as possible.
  7. As you sit, pull your legs together and push your thighs together, tightening the thigh muscles as you push inward.
  8. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles.
  9. Afterward, curl your toes downwards as much as possible.

2. Add physical activities

Relaxation techniques during daily commute.

Regular commuting could negatively impact your health, such as elevating your blood pressure. Fortunately, adding physical activity to your commute could mitigate these effects. 

A 2010 study by Antonio Páez and Kate Whalen said people who walk, bike, or run to work are more likely to enjoy their daily trips. 

If you can’t delegate a specific time for exercise, you could add parts of it to your daily commute instead. For example, you could walk from your jeepney stop to work instead of riding a tricycle. 


3. Pack snacks and drinks

Commuter packing snacks and drinks for the journey.

Trips with friends are more fun with snacks, so why not bring some on your way to work and home? Buy some of your favorites at a nearby store before commuting. 

You could enjoy a hot cup of coffee to keep yourself awake on the way. Alternatively, munch on your favorite chips and cookies to make your daily commute more enjoyable.

This tip is ideal for those who skip meals to catch up with rides during rush hour. However, you should try healthy options to maintain your well-being, like protein cookies.

4. Improve your comfort

Comfortable commute with cushions and accessories.

Daily commutes can be uncomfortable because they often involve bumpy rides where you’re crammed with multiple people inside a vehicle. However, there are ways to make that ride a bit more pleasant.

For example, you could listen to your favorite music to pass the time. However, it’s better to play your tunes with wireless headphones instead of wired ones to prevent them from getting pulled by the hustle and bustle.

Once you get the chance to sit, try wearing a neck pillow to support your posture. This tip is especially suitable for trains and FX vehicles with headrests.

5. Finish work tasks

Commuter working on a laptop during travel.

A daily commute typically involves sitting for minutes or hours, so why not get some work done? For example, you could organize emails on your phone.

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Nowadays, most companies let you open your work inbox from your smartphone or tablet. That allows you to delete spam and respond to important messages.

However, this tip may not work for some professions. For example, a customer service representative or call center agent can usually only perform their office duties.

6. Learn new skills

Commuter engaging in self-improvement during travel.

You could also take the time to learn something new during your trip. Let’s say you’ve always wanted to cook a tasty high-protein meal for your new diet.

Check the ingredients online, and then purchase them before you get home. Then, watch instructional videos explaining how to cook the meal.

You’ll reach your place before you know it, and you’re ready to cook something cool! Otherwise, you could take the time to watch and read other online courses.

7. Master a new language

Learning a new language during the daily commute.

Your daily commute could give you the opportunity to learn that language you’ve always wanted. Start by downloading a language learning app like Duolingo.

Then, go through its courses during your commute. Before you know it, you’ll be breezing through the lessons! Also, it has daily challenges so that you can always have something new to do.

The lessons may require you to respond verbally to questions, so you might feel too embarrassed to do those while commuting. Instead, read new words to expand your vocabulary, and then do those in private.

8. Do something fun

Commuter enjoying a leisure activity during travel.

The daily commute can sometimes be too frustrating to stay productive, so why not have fun instead? For example, pull out your phone and start jamming to your favorite bands!

You could also try climbing the ranks of Mobile Legends. If you have a more powerful smartphone, continue your quest in Genshin Impact or Honkai: Star Rail.

Catch up with your favorite YouTubers like Mr. Beast or Ninong Ry. Many content creators have wholesome, light-hearted content that’s great for passing the time.

9. Meditate

Commuter practicing meditation during the journey.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life? Commuting could exacerbate those feelings because it involves the rush of people and vehicles. 

Fortunately, meditation could turn your daily commute into your safe haven. It grounds your mind to the present so that it doesn’t get distracted by the past and the future. Here’s how it works:

  1. Set an alarm for 10 minutes.
  2. Then, close your eyes and sit straight.
  3. Inhale deeply while feeling your breath and everything around you. Focus on nothing else.
  4. After a few seconds, do the same as you exhale.
  5. Repeat until your alarm goes off.

Just be careful not to doze off during your first meditation session! Also, install and download meditation apps for more guidance.

10. Do nothing

Commuter enjoying a moment of stillness during travel.

We usually solve problems by doing something about them. However, what if the solution to a better daily commute is to do nothing? 

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Sometimes, our brains need to recharge. It can’t do that if we’re doing something for work or fun. Instead, try doing nothing during your trip to work and home.

Put your phone down, and notice people commuting with you. Look out the window to observe your surroundings. Embrace the moment to relax your mind while commuting.


Your daily commute doesn’t have to be a drag. You could perform multiple tasks while riding the jeep or bus to improve your trip.

For example, perform minor tasks to lessen your workload the next day. On the other hand, you could have fun by listening to music or playing video games.

You can find an app to assist you with all these activities. Learn more about those programs and other digital trends at Inquirer Tech. 

Frequently asked questions about improving daily commutes

How can I make commuting more productive?

Open your email inbox and sort messages during your commute. Erase spam and reply to important ones. However, you should be careful about tapping or clicking unknown links from unfamiliar senders. Otherwise, you might fall victim to online scams like phishing.

How can I make commuting more fun?

You could listen to your favorite music or podcast while waiting for your trip to finish. Also, you could play mobile games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Genshin Impact. Alternatively, watch your favorite content creators on Twitch or YouTube.

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How do I add physical exercise to my daily commute?

You could ride a bike to work if it is relatively near. Alternatively, you could walk some parts of your daily commute. For example, you could walk from the bus terminal to your office instead of riding a tricycle to it. 

TOPICS: Commuting, evergreen, how-to, interesting topics, Trending
TAGS: Commuting, evergreen, how-to, interesting topics, Trending

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