Bus Chasing: A Quick Way to Increase Daily Exercise

Walking for Health

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What it Is

"Bus Chasing" is a simple habit that helps me get more exercise. I developed it as a way of productively passing time normally wasted while waiting for a bus.

Depending on the length of time that it takes for a bus to arrive, as well as the number of buses I take during the day, I reap the benefits of an extra 10-30 minutes (or more) of exercise while commuting.

How I Do It

  1. I get to the bus stop and look to see if I can spot an oncoming bus. If I can, I stay put, if I can't, I check my smartphone transit app to see if one is coming. If there is no bus in sight and the app doesn't show one arriving soon, I begin walking along the bus route to the next stop.
  2. At the next bus stop, I look back. If I see the bus, I wait. If I don't see the bus, I start walking again.
  3. I repeat this process until I can spy the bus or the app tells me that it's arriving soon.

Cautions

  1. Seeing a bus that is some distance away can be difficult in bad weather or if you have poor eyesight. Many public transit companies have SMS or smartphone app trackers that tell you when to expect the next bus.
  2. Buses don't always operate on a straight route. Check out the location of your bus stop and make sure that the bus approaches such that you can see it coming. If your bus turns a corner right before hitting your stop, you risk missing it. Again, use a bus tracking service.
  3. Bus chasing often works best in urban environments where bus stops are close together. If you are in a suburb where bus stops are few and far between, bus chasing may not work unless bus drivers can pick up passengers between marked stops.
  4. Be careful if you know that there is a school, hospital, hotel or other large property along your route. Even in areas where bus stops are on every other corner, there may be no pick-up point in front of a large, sprawling building that stretches for several blocks. If you are in an unfamiliar area and see a large property ahead, stop chasing and stay put at the nearest bus stop.
  5. Never bus chase if you are concerned about bad weather or your safety. Stay at a safe bus stop or under a shelter until your bus arrives. Call a cab if necessary.

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