Move to Lose: Everyday Exercise in Germany

Part 3 of 4 series looking at the comparisons between America and Germany

(c) Claudia, Car in Neubeuern, Germany

When I commuted to work to the city (Seattle), it would take me an hour and 20 minutes to get to the office in the morning and 1.5 hours to get home. This was taking the bus.  If I drove, it would take longer.  When I worked in Redmond, I couldn’t take a bus to work.  To be more specific, I would have to take 3 buses to get there and back.  I simply could not devote the time to commuting so I drove. Driving to Redmond would take roughly 2 hours in the morning, and 2.5 in the afternoon.

And my commute wasn’t bad compared to other people who drove in from Bellingham, Washington or, in one case, Vancouver, Canada to Redmond every day.

I don’t know for certain, but I read that most people in Germany use public transportation or bicycle to their offices. People do have cars, but they are expensive which lends itself to a culture that is more focused on public transportation. Their cities are compact because of very strict city zoning laws all over the country.

Driving in Germany is expensive

  • It is nearly 2,000 Euro for classes and the test
  • Parking is difficult to find in the city(not always in front of your destination)
  • Gas is expensive ($8.00 to $10.00 USD per gallon)

Impact on environment

  • Germany is described as a country focused on being eco-friendly and pro environment
  • One of their towns, Freiburg, is described as the most eco-friendly place in the world

Riding a bike is common

(c) Claudia, Bicycles in Maastrict, Netherlands

  • Riding a bike to places in town is faster than driving or taking the bus
  • There are bike priority streets
  • Bike only paths not only take you to places in the city, one can ride safely from town to town in their region

Going to Ikea without a car

If I need furniture and must shop at Ikea, not having a car to schlep the large boxes home will be a problem.  Although, they do have some fabulous options.

  • There is an Ikea bus that takes people home with their stuff. I can’t wait to see this.
  • Ikea also delivers
  • At the store, one can rent a bike with a large trailer by the hour.

With all of this bicycle commuting, I am looking forward to losing weight just by going to work. I am also looking forward to carrying some furniture on the back of my bicycle.


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