There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Transitarian diet

The Sacramento Bee front page attempts to tease readers inside the paper with a list of 'FIVE STORIES TO TALK ABOUT TODAY." One of those stories fit right in with my thoughts about the Transitarian Diet.

"FIT OR FAT? Dieting doesn't work in the long run, study says." The page A8 story goes on to repeat the obvious: The only way to lose weight and keep it off (short of surgery) is to eat less and exercise more.

The No. 30 bus arrived this morning at 21st and L streets at 9:10 a.m. The walk to 21st and Q streets and up to my office on the third floor took 10 minutes.

When I first started riding the bus I didn't appreciate that walking was a benefit of using transit. I figured that if the bus didn't drop you off in front of your destination, then it was somehow less than optimum. Today, I realize I was wrong.

Don't get me wrong. I consider it a bonus that the bus picks me up a half-block from my front door and the light-rail train drops me off at the corner of the building where I work. But that's not required. In fact, I'd say I'm spoiled.

As a New Year's resolution I promised I would walk each day for at least a half-hour. In February I started leaving the car at home and taking transit to work. I don't usually keep New Year's resolutions, but I've found that walking during workdays and stress-free commutes have been helpful for both my physical and mental health. For instance, I have gone from a six-cup-a-day coffee and tea habit to just two cups a day -- one on the way to work and one during my afternoon walk.

It has only been recently that I've appreciated combining the commute to work with a nice morning stroll.

The Transitarian Diet is great. What other activity offers an opportunity to reduce stress and increase physical fitness? If we could just convince people that riding the bus is a cool, healthy habit, we'd have standing-room only on transit.

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