Getting that hour of cardio in during the day can be tough. You've either got to get up at dawn, squeeze it into lunch (plus, take the requisite shower) or find a way to stay awake enough to work out at night. That's why Bailey Mader, a software developer in Johnston, Iowa, bikes to work: "I am lucky enough to have a trail between my office and my home, so I can get lost in my thoughts without worrying about traffic." Mader reports that while her method takes a few more minutes than driving, the time is far from wasted. "I also feel more awake on the mornings I bike, so I more than make up for those scant extra minutes with heightened productivity. Biking is my caffeine!" She's not wrong. A number of studies have found that people feel more productive after exercising.
Even if you have to drive or take mass-transit to work, you can consciously choose to incorporate activity into your commute. Get off at an earlier bus stop on a nice day, or park farther away, at the back of the lot or in a garage a few blocks away. "My commute begins with a walk," says Naila Bolus, president and CEO of Jumpstart, a Boston nonprofit that prepares low-income children for kindergarten. "Every single morning I walk my twins to school; it's something we do together, and I love sending them off on their day."