Elisa Munoz

Cycling to work and a healthier life

Biking to work can help you get active and earn $2 a day.

What do you do when you can't find the time to work out? The answer for Elisa Munoz was easy. Incorporate it into your commute!

Spurred on by a friendly competition among friends to encourage each other to exercise, Elisa made a plan to incorporate at least four 30-minute bike rides into her week.

Motivated by the desire to get healthy (and win the competition!), she decided to combine her workout with her daily commute to work. After careful planning, Elisa found a safe bike route and began riding to work a couple times a week from her Birmingham residence to her suburban office.

"I want to show people that it can be done," says Elisa.

Working in a corporate environment, she often wears skirts and heels, but couldn't hit the road in them. With some quick adjustments to a messenger bag and the addition of proper riding clothes, Elisa had a way to carry the things she needed for work and move comfortably on a bike.

Enjoying the time to think, Elisa doesn't push herself too hard on the ride. She gives herself extra time for "touch ups" when she gets to work, and finds that she's more alert in the morning and has more energy throughout the day. Her bike commute takes about the same time as going by car, but instead she arrives refreshed.

Before biking to work, Elisa described her commute as boring. "It felt like 40 minutes of my life that I was wasting. I kept thinking, 'I could be sleeping, I could be exercising,' so this is a great solution."

As a new convert to clean commuting, she signed up for CommuteSmart'sGetGreen incentive program and earns $2 for every day she bikes to work, which encouraged her to do it more often.

"Hopefully I'm setting an example that biking to work can be done in Birmingham, and maybe more people will join me."

To track their progress and inspire other women to exercise, Elisa and her friends started Triathablog, named after their sports of cycling, running and swimming.

If you're interested in biking to work, CommuteSmart can help you get started. Sign up for the online ridematching database at www.commutesmart.org, find bike pool partners and download a GetGreen application today.