Love Yourself – Make Your Commute Better

11 Feb

The average American spends more than 50 minutes each day commuting to and from work.  If you live in NJ and commute to NY or Philadelphia, you probably spend more than 50 minutes one way.  This can add up and over time can have an impact on your health and your relationships.  From increased levels of stress to not having enough time to exercise and not being able to spend enough time with your family, all of this can take a toll on your health and well-being.

Image shared from http://www.ny-muse.com/

Image shared from http://www.ny-muse.com/

When it comes to commuting, shorter is better. But if you don’t have that option how about making  it easier?

Here are a few suggestions:

  •  See if it is possible to work from home when the weather is bad, alleviating the uncertainty that we all feel when traveling in less than perfect conditions.    See if you can carpool or vanpool with someone from work. Sharing the ride will relieve the stress of driving every day.  (We can help you look for a carpool)
  •  If you take public transit, you can spend commuting time reading, listening to music, or listening to a podcast.   Click here for a list of popular podcasts.
  • Try to commute at alternate times so you can avoid the heaviest traffic and shorten your commute time.
  • Be an active commuter. Research shows that people who walk or bike to work are happier than people who drive.  If your commute is long, you can try biking or walking part of the way and then taking public transit. (We can help with that too)

We hope this helps! If you have any tips on how you make your commute easier please let us know, we would love to share them on our blog.

Sources:

https://www.psychologies.co.uk/how-enjoy-your-commute
http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/mind-and-soul/9-ways-to-turn-your-commute-into-me-time/ss-CCr0bK#image=1
http://www.femalenetwork.com/health-wellness/ways-to-love-your-commute

February is Heart Month, Your Yearly Reminder to Love your Heart

4 Feb

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February is Heart Month.  The American Heart Month and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Million Hearts launched the Million Hearts Initiative in 2012. The initiative aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 and offer the following recommendations:

–    Understand the risks

–    Get up and Get Active – at least 30 minutes for several days per week

–    Know your ABCS: Aspirin therapy, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol measurements, Stop Smoking

–    Eat a healthy diet

You can find more information in this campaign fact sheet.

In addition to following these recommendations, it is also important to recognize the symptoms and know what to do if it happens to you.

How to recognize a heart attack

Heart attack symptoms in women and men differ, with women being more likely to experience shortness of breath while men typically experience chest pains.  Here are some of the symptoms:

Women:

–    Shortness of breath with without chest pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the chest that is intermittent or lasts for a few minutes.

–    Pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach, nausea/vomiting

–    Breaking out in a cold sweat

Men :

The typical heart attack symptoms in men are chest pain, chest discomfort or pressure. Other less common symptoms include discomfort in arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach, nausea/vomiting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.

What to do if you have a heart attack

If you or someone you are with experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 right away.  Do not drive yourself or someone else to the hospital unless you have no other options.  Emergency medical services are equipped to treat the victim on the way to the hospital.

What to do if you have a heart attack when driving

If you experience symptoms, pool over in a safe area, call 911 immediately. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital unless that is the only way to get help.

-Chew an aspirin

-Try to calm down, breath deep and slow

-Cool your body’s temperature

While these actions help, they will not stop a heart attack. Your safest bet is to get to a hospital as soon as possible.

It’s also important to know that you have some control over your heart health.  Small lifestyle changes, like choosing active transportation, can have huge health benefits.  Being active doesn’t need to be time set aside for exercising.  You can easily add active time to your day by choosing to walk or bike rather than drive for short trips, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Walking to the bus stop or from a distant parking spot to the station counts too—and it all adds up to better heart health!

Sources:

http://share.upmc.com/2014/02/survive-heart-attack-alone/

http://www.healthcommunities.com/heart-attack/prepare-save-your-life_jhmwp.shtml

https://www.goredforwomen.org/about-heart-disease/symptoms_of_heart_disease_in_women/cardiac-arrest-vs-heart-attack/

http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/

Give Carpooling a Try This Year

28 Jan

It is about that time in January when some people abandon their new year’s resolutions. But, you can be the exception. Drive less, save money, manage stress, be environmentally friendly, and get to work/home on time! Give carpooling a try this year.

Picture1

You don’t need a carpool app, GMTMA can help you safely set up or join a carpool and make sure you have a way to go home in case of an emergency.  Our Emergency Ride Home program  gives registered carpoolers a free lift home if they have to leave early or stay late at work.

Last year over 2,600 people in Mercer and Ocean counties used our Rideshare services. Here is what you need to know:

  • We use a carpool database
  • Your information is secure
  • We look for a match that will fit your schedule
  • You can sign up here 
  • You get an Emergency Ride Home free lift when you need it
  • Oh yes… and it’s all FREE

If you’re not sure where to start and who might have a similar schedule, try joining a work carpool. You can check our classifieds page to see if your coworkers are looking to carpool.

Don’t forget to also register and log your trips at http://www.gmtma.org/pg-green-commuter-rewards.php  and enjoy cash back for online purchases you make at thousands of popular retailers.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

 

 

Winter Driving Safety Tips

21 Jan

The latest weather forecast for Mercer and Ocean County is 12 to 18 inches of snow, starting late Friday and ending late Saturday into Sunday morning.

Since many people run their errands on weekends, here are some winter safety tips to remember when you are out and about. Whenever possible, you should wait to travel until the roads are clear and conditions improve.

 

Winter 2

 

To keep up with the weather forecast visit http://www.weather.gov/phi/winter

Stay safe and keep warm!

Greater Mercer TMA 2015 Impact

14 Jan

2015 has been a busy year here at GMTMA.  Our infographic provides a brief overview of some the things that kept us busy last year.

We are looking forward to working with our community in 2016!

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Using Your Commute to Keep Those New Year’s Resolutions!

7 Jan

Resolution #1    Lose weight, get in shape, exercise more (you get the idea)
If too many holiday parties and goodies have you making this resolution then look no further than your driveway…and leave your car parked!  Try walking or biking to work or to the bus or train.  If that’s not possible you can still swap some of your car trips to run errands with biking or walking.  Did you know that on average people who commute using active transportation and by transit have less body fat than those who drive?

Resolution #2    Spend less, save more, stick to the budget, etc.
You will see immediate savings if you switch from driving alone to walking, biking, carpooling, vanpooling or using transit.    According to the American Public Transportation Association’s Transit Savings Report, on average a person commuting by transit rather than driving will save $771 per month.  Gas prices may be down, but carpooling and sharing the ride with just one person cuts your cost by 50%! Feeling bold and want to save even more?  You can go car free and use a service like Zipcar for the times you must have a car.

Resolution #3    Enjoy life to the fullest, have more fun!
Add a dose of happiness to your day by biking or walking to work!  According to a study from Portland State University, commuters who bike to work enjoyed their commutes the most, followed closely by those who walk.  Least satisfied…folks that drove alone.

Resolution #4    Learn something new
When you let someone else do the driving you’ll have lots more time for reading (or writing) the great American novel.  Plenty of extra time to do research on the internet too!

Resolution #5    Spend more time with family and friends
Nothing can shorten your commute time like telecommuting!  If it’s an option for you—even just one day a week, you can add a little extra time to the day to spend with your family.  Or take advantage of your company’s flex time and commute during less congested hours to cut down on your commute time.

Make 2016 a year of smart commute choices!  Let your commute help you keep your New Year’s resolutions!  GMTMA can help you reach your goals.  Visit us at gmtma.org for more information.

Holiday Travel Driving Safety Tips and Transit Schedules

18 Dec

According the AAA Year-End Travel Forecast, a record 100.5 million people will be traveling for the holidays this year.  With gas prices much lower than previous years, many people choose to drive to their destination, although travel by other modes of transportation will increase as well.

If you are driving, please check our winter driving safety tips before you hit the road  and check out these AAA  winter driving tips .

If you are taking public transit:

NJ Transit – Bus Service Christmas Day and New Year’s Day – Weekend Schedule, no service on  603, 610, 611, 612

Bicycles permitted at all times

Rail Service – Weekend Service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Bicycles are not permitted on trains on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Riverline – Sunday Schedule for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Bicycles permitted at all times

Amtrak –Schedules available here 

AirTranhttp://www.panynj.gov/airports/ewr-to-from.html

SEPTA – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Schedule

PATH – Christmas Day on Saturday Schedule, New Year’s Day on modified weekday schedule

FreeB – No Service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Route 130 Connection – No service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Tiger Transit – December 24, 25, 31, and January 1st no service

Suburban – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day on a Sunday Schedule

Ocean Ride – No Service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Ride Provide – No service on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Whether you will be travelling or spending the Holidays at home, all of us at GMTMA would like to wish you Happy and Safe Holidays!

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