In recent months mass transit in New York City has continued to follow a declining pattern. Train delays, over-crowding, and the overall stress that comes with commuting on public transportation can all have negative affects on physical and mental health. Since New Yorkers spend on average 6 hours and 18 minutes commuting on mass transit each week, it is important to keep in mind your personal health when taking daily commutes that can have damaging affects on your well being. Here are some tips for how to stay healthy while riding the subway.
- Eat breakfast at home If you are traveling to work during the morning rush eating breakfast is a must. Grabbing something on the way to the train or as you’re walking to your office may give you additional time to snooze in the morning, but it’s usually the first thing skipped during rush hour madness. Eating something at home will give you the energy you need to survive crowded commutes, and may even keep you from feeling faint.
- Pack snacks & water Having a light snack and water on hand before you head onto the train could come in handy during severe train delays, and keep you feeling fueled.
- Consider alternatives If you don’t have to take the train these days, your best bet is to avoid it. Crowded trains are stress inducing, and for those who have anxiety, it can be a trigger. Biking to and from work could help you avoid this stress, and give you time in your day to exercise.
- Walk with pain & prescription medication Long train delays can bring about head and muscle aches. Walking with pain medication can reduce this pain. Also, if you’re someone who takes prescribed medication, making sure that it is accessible during your commute is essential. Especially when considering unexpected changes in your commute.
- Invest in a handheld fan Many of the MTA’s trains are dated, and often have issues with AC. Carrying a personal fan during summer months can help avoid heat exhaustion.
- For the sake of your mental health, sometimes it’s best to accept your fate In many cases it is unrealistic and unhealthy to push into a crowded train car. Waiting for the next train may make you late, but may also be the choice that is better for your well being.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help If you begin to feel sick during your commute get off the train and find help, even if it’s from a fellow passenger.