Over the last decade, the number of bicycle commuters has increased at a rapid rate. The National Household Travel Survey shows that the number of trips made by bike commuters in the US doubled in just 8 years from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.
Biking lanes have also increased and are now present in more American cities paving way for safer cycling based on a recent research by the New York City Department of Transportation.
Biking to work may seem like a chore for a huge percentage of working individuals, but if we look closely to its worthwhile effects to our health and the environment, one can say that it would really make a big difference.
Bikes are the best mode of transportation if we’re going for an eco-friendly future.
There are many ways in which cycling can benefit our environment. Aside from helping promote a love of the outdoors and an appreciation of nature, it also lessens each of our carbon footprint dramatically. Here are ways bikes help our environment:
- Using bikes can help traffic as the need for more roads diminishes.
- Unlike cars, bikes do not leak or drip any toxic substances such as brake and transmission fluids or anti-freeze. This helps prevent the contamination of water, plant, and animal life.
- Eliminates the possibility of road kill.
- If every solo motor vehicle driver will choose to bike instead they can save an average of 1.1lbs of Co2 per mile.
- Riding a bike to work can even go as far as helping stop deforestation. This is due to the drop in the demand of the rubber plantations and biofuel crops that result in the deforestation.
Repairing and maintaining your Bike won’t cost you much.
It costs an average of $308 a year to run a bike. This is hardly a comparison to the $8000 a year it takes to fuel and maintain one’s car annually. With a bike, there is no money spent on gas, car washes and general maintenance/repairs.
- Studies have shown that bike commuters are less likely to call in sick at work. This is great news for your wallet as you’ll be sure to save on health care costs by up to $500. And you won’t lose any wages by having to stay home from work.
- No need to sign up for gym memberships. Cycling is a great form of exercise on its own. You can burn a lot of calories by simply cycling to work every day.
Improved Fitness and Weight loss
Biking to work ever day can help you keep fit and maintain a healthy weight. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of having many kinds of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Just three hours of biking per week can reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 50%. Cycling strengthens the heart and improves poor blood circulation.
- Bike riding helps burn body fat. The average person loses around 13lbs in their first year of commuting by bicycle. Cycling can help you burn a total of 900 calories in less than an hour.
- Cycling can help increase the mobility in one’s joints. This is extremely helpful for people who suffer from arthritis or back problems.
- Doing 30 minutes of cycling a day or more can help reduce your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Improved Emotional and Physical Well-being
Not only does getting fit and losing a bit of weight can give you a boost on self-esteem, cycling also comes along with a few other emotional benefits.
- As a form of exercise, riding a bike helps release important feel-good hormones such as serotonin and endorphins into your body. This help relieves stress, anxiety and even depression.
- Scientists have proven the direct link between exercise and feelings of overall well-being. Cycling also helps improve sleeping patterns over time.
- The increase in circulation experienced when doing a physical activity, such as cycling, helps deliver some important nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells and works to detox them. This helps to keep your skin looking youthful and fresh.
- Commuting through bike can also save you the usual morning wait in a traffic jam. Giving you a good start for your day.
- Commuting via bicycle can also be humbling and instill a sense of accomplishment as you have physically gotten yourself to where you need to be, on your own steam.