Words by John Peter Himor
Here in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila, the average Filipino participates in the hustle of the everyday commute—going to school, rushing to work, riding to the next raket. It’s often perceived as a stressful and lazy intermediary between you and your destination, but what if I told you that your public transportation woes are more productive than you think? As a commuter myself, I can attest that commuting gives me the workout I need every day without having to go to the gym or even setting aside those extra hours. If I can burn some extra calories and travel along EDSA, it’s a win-win situation.
Here we have compiled five workouts you don’t realize you’re doing while on your commute!
5. Core exercises in the jeepney
Sometimes the stars don’t align and there won’t be any seat left inside that jeepney you so desperately need. But when you’re in a rush and Kuya Manong hails that deceitful “Oh, dalawa pa dyan sa kaliwa”, you can’t help but give in. Inside that jeep, chances are you won’t even be able to properly sit and you would have to squat with your butt in midair for the duration of that jeep ride. But, on the bright side, that’s a squatting + core muscle exercise in one. Thanks, manong!
4. Pull-ups when you’re the sabit
If you don’t want to do the jeepney core + squat exercise (lol), you can always just be a sabit on the rear end (but, of course, only when it’s allowed by the driver and by your local traffic laws). It’s windier, much more exciting, and helps you work out those biceps of yours. Use the weight of your own body and the frame of the jeep to create a makeshift pull-ups system, all while riding across a national highway. Just make sure to hold the bar tightly at all times, as this leans towards a more dangerous method of burning calories.
3. Yoga on the bus
Bus rides can quickly get messy on rush hours, so much so that your breezy lounging inside the bus could easily become an uncomfortable nightmare. What’s annoying is when the bus does short, rapid breaks and you, as a standing passenger, try your best to stay upright and not fall straight into anyone around you. When the bus is on this staccato run, that is the best time to practice the lessons from your yoga classes, such as on balance and the different standing yoga poses. Master the craft of the anti-gravity lean and never fall on the bus ever again.
2. Breathing exercises in the FX
If you’ve ever sat in commute in a small, air-conditioned vehicle such as the FX, you’ve probably experienced sitting next to someone smelling somewhat off at least once. Whether they’re eating chicharon with suka or letting off some awful gas, someone inside the vehicle is sometimes bound to make the van smell like a gym locker room. Thankfully, you’ve mastered the art of breathing without smelling so you won’t have to endure any of the nasty stuff. Inhale and exhale your way through your ride, at least until kuya with the gas gets dropped off at the next kanto.
1. Cardio when you’re running late
Has there been a time when you didn’t wake up from your alarm and you had to literally run to get to where you needed to be??? Running, as you know, is good for the heart and builds your stamina, so at least you could do your cardio whenever you’d be running late. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The public transportation system in the Philippines is far from perfect, but with thinking of our commutes as workouts then at least we’re getting something good out of a difficult situation.
Do you have any funny “workout” stories from your daily commute? Share them with us and comment them down below!