Logging all those miles in a car may seem seem like a waste of time, but it depends on what you do. If you use that time effectively, you can skim hours in your otherwise busy day and make room for other indulgences. Here are some tips to make over your commute.
Pack a snack: Instead of grabbing that 500-calorie muffin on your way into work, bring a healthy breakfast. We're fond of these easy-to-carry recipes. You can use traffic time to enjoy your meal and save time. Eating before you get to work will also keep your metabolic rate up and glucose levels steady. If you're heading home, bring an apple or trail mix with you to ward off predinner urges. This will keep both your hunger and your road rage at bay.
Keep tennis shoes in the car: Whether you're parking a mile away or considering a lunchtime walk, having the right shoes close by will keep excuses to a minimum and help kick your body into gear for easy motivation. Even better: if you have a gym near your office, pack the whole bag, complete with clothes and an iPod. Take it a step further by practicing this yoga made for the car.
Have a heart-to-heart: While you're decompressing from the day, call one of your friends to catch up. Talking to someone you're close to can lift your spirits and also help energize you to do something healthy, even after work. Just be sure you use a hands-free device so you can keep your focus on the road.
Listen to something beneficial: Your surroundings can have a positive effect on your mood. Try playing mellow music to reduce traffic nerves, listening to an audiobook you want to read but don't have time for, or enjoying a news station to stay informed. This way you can kill two birds with one stone and use the lag time to your advantage.