Benefits Of Biking To Work
More and more people are now beginning to bike more often, especially to work. The benefits to cycling are numerous but here are the top 12 reasons why biking to work has its benefits:
Improves mental wellbeing. There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood: from the release of adrenalin and endorphins, to the improved confidence you will feel that comes from achieving new goals. Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. People who bike to work report feelings of freedom, relaxation, and excitement than car commuters. Engaging in exercise, such as cycling, has also proven to decrease the effects of mental health disorders like depression.
Promotes weight loss. You can burn between 200-500 calories during a 30-minute bike ride, depending on the rider’s weight and intensity of the ride. The average person can lose 13 lbs. in the first year of commuting by bike. Each additional hour spent in a car per day is associated with a 6% increase in the likelihood of obesity.
Builds muscle. Biking doesn’t just burn fat, it also builds muscle – particularly around the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
Improves lung health. A recent study suggests that people who ride a bike are exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. A driver experiences five times higher pollution levels than cyclists, as well as three and a half more than a walker.
Reduces heart disease and cancer risk. People who bike to work have better blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels. Since cycling burns calories and gets your blood pumping round your body, this limits the chance of you becoming overweight. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow, shows that cycling to work can cut a rider’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer in half.
Better sleep. Tiring yourself out cycling will lead to improved sleep. People who bike to work have reduced tiredness and less difficulty sleeping. Exercise can also protect against weight gain with age, which is another cause of sleep dysfunction.
Saves time. Short journeys contribute massively to global pollution levels and if you’re commuting by car, then it is usually spent stuck in traffic for a long period of time. If you commute by bike you will be able to arrive to work a lot faster by cutting out the stand-still traffic lanes.
Saves money. Biking to work each day can save you money on the cost of gas, maintenance expenses on a car, and/or the cost of public transportation. Over time, the amount of money you save can be used for more rewarding ventures than paying to fill up your gas tank each week. Being physically active 1-2 days a week can even lower your healthcare costs by $400-$500 per year!
Improves navigational skills. In a world where we rely heavily on GPS systems in our car or on our phones, this doesn’t give us a chance to exercise our brain and sharpen our natural sense of direction. Getting out to explore the lanes, community, and environment will provide an essential exercise for your internal mapping capabilities and, with practice, can help you have a better idea of which way is East.
Boosts your brain power. Exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health and it reduces the risk of cognitive changes or illnesses such as dementia later in life. A 2013 study found that during exercise, cyclists’ blood flow in the brain rose by 28% and up to 70 in specific areas. The study concluded that we should cycle for 45-60 minutes for the full benefits. Improved blood flow is important to keeping us healthy so let’s get that blood pumping.
Strengthens your immune system. Exercise has huge benefits for the health of the upper respiratory system which reduces the instances of the common cold. Even mild exercise can improve our immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins and waking up lazy white blood cells. Additionally, biking to work can free you from the confines of germ-infused buses and trains.
Grows your social circle. Cycling is a very sociable sport. Joining a cycling club or group is a great way to grow your social circle. And if you’re new to riding, you’ll probably find all the maintenance and training advice you may need in these groups. These clubs or groups can even be a great sense of support for you and your wellbeing.