Getting to and from work can be a workout all by itself

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The easiest way to lose weight — and keep it off — may just involve your daily trip to and from work.

Several studies have shown that an active commute — involving walking, biking or taking public transit — has helped people lose weight.

In a British study, those who switched from driving to work to a more active commute saw a significant reduction in body mass index; participants lost about 15 pounds on average over two years.

Another study, done on Charlotte’s new light rail system, found that those who used it lost an average of 6 1/2 pounds within the system’s first year and a half of operation.  It found that the average user would add an extra mile of walking to his or her daily routine.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out that a large reason for this weight loss may be attributed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own guidelines.  The CDC recommends getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (which includes brisk walking) every week. Currently, less than half of the American population reaches that minimum.

Not only that, but fewer than 10 percent of Americans either walk, bike or take public transit to work.

So if you’re looking to shed a few pounds, adding 30 minutes a day of walking to your commute could be a big benefit to your effort.

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