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New Year, New Lifestyle: Ride Public Transit

It’s almost end of January. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions?

Exercising more, saving more, and enjoying life more are some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Yet, you and I know these are not easy ones to keep.

However, there’s no need to worry, because there is a practical change you can make to fulfil all of the three resolutions at once! The solution is riding the public transit.

Exercise More

It is widely known that physical activity is positively associated with better overall health. Riding the bus or rails is an excellent way to increase your daily physical activity.

This study indicates that those who commute via bus and rail walked significantly more often than those who commuted by car. More specifically, another study showed that public transit users were more likely to walk 30 minutes or more per day than those who do not use public transit regularly.

If you are feeling frustrated that your busy schedule does not allow you to go to the gym on a regular basis, riding public transit to school, your job, or the grocery store instead of driving your car could be a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

Save More

As convenient as it may be to have access to a personal vehicle, there is a lot of financial cost involved, from gas to parking to car insurance to occasional repairs. With public transit, however, you need not worry about any of these expenses. You can save even more if you are a UCLA student or employee. UCLA Transportation Services offers discounts for accessing various public transportation options around UCLA such as the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, Metro buses and rails, and Culver City Bus. There is also the Bruin Bus service, which offers transportation between campus and its surrounding areas.

The amount of savings may seem small at first but with persistence, riding public transit will help you cut down costs associated with driving a personal vehicle.

Enjoy Life More

The way to define “enjoying life more” would be different from person to person. However, one common aspect could be appreciating our surroundings, from scenery to people to simply atmosphere.

Riding public transit may feel like slowing down the pace of your life, which could be frustrating at times. However, said slower pace allows us to observe and appreciate our surroundings like city streets and our neighbors. I am confident that you will find many beauties of the city like exchanging a friendly hello with passerbys or absorbing delicious smells from restaurants and street vendors on your way to school or work — things you would not notice if you were in your personal vehicle.

It is never too late to make choices that will lead to healthier and happier lifestyle. Start with riding public transit. It will positively influence your health, finance, and appreciation of the surroundings.

Miso Kwak is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Disability Studies and Education Studies. In addition to blogging for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative, she plays the flute with the UCLA Woodwind Chamber Ensemble. Outside of school, she works as a mentor for high school students through Accessible Science, a nonprofit organization that facilitates science camp for blind youth.

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