While bikes have been around for over a century, most people still consider this old, trusty invention a hip, new way to commute. This is because they are just discovering the benefits of biking to work.
Modern urbanization has led to traffic jams which force people to waste hours waiting in their cars. With a good commuter bike, one can just ride on the pavements, saving time. This advantage, coupled with other benefits of bike commuting, including reduced carbon footprint and better mental health have made biking a favorite way to get to and from work. If you are still not using a bike to commute to and from work, the detailed benefits outlined in this guide will show you what you have been missing out on.
The Benefits of Biking to Work
1. Improves Health
If you are new to using a bike to get to work, chances are, you have asked the question “Is biking to work healthy?” Cycling does improve your health.
When done consistently – which shouldn’t be a problem for people who go to work regularly – cycling will help you lose body fat, build muscle, and increase your overall stamina. In addition to giving you a svelte figure, it reduces your risk for lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
2. Longer Lifespan
Having an active lifestyle boosts your health, giving you a better shot at a longer lifespan. Using your road bike to get to work will reduce the chances of getting cardiovascular diseases by 46% and it cuts down the risk of developing cancer by 45%. On average, middle-aged workers who ride their bikes live at least 2 years longer than their peers who don’t have active lifestyles.
3. Delays Aging
We all want to stay young for as long as possible. Owning a good budget road bike and using it to get to the office might help you avoid aging.
Cycling holds back the aging effects by keeping the immune system young and preserving muscle mass. While it is impossible to completely stop aging, cycling – at the very least – can delay it.
4. More Cost-Efficient
With petrol prices increasing each year, one of the best benefits of biking to work is its ability to help you save money. In addition to costing a fraction of the car price, aluminum road bikes do not require a lot of maintenance.
5. Saves Time
Riding your mountain bike to work can help you save one more crucial thing – your time. A large number of people waste their time stuck in traffic. On arriving at work, car owners have to spend a significant portion of their morning finding a parking spot.
This means that most people begin their workday frustrated, which affects their productivity throughout the day. In the evening, workers also have to stay in the traffic jam when heading home. With a bike, you can arrive at work early enough and be productive; in the evening, you can spend more time with your family instead of honking in traffic.
6. Bike Commuting Helps the Environment
One of the most ignored benefits of bike commuting is that it helps reduce the carbon footprint. To give you an example, if you live 10 kilometers from your workplace and you cycle to and from work throughout the year, you will save approximately 1500 kilograms worth of greenhouse gas emissions.
7. Expands Your Social and Professional Network
Networking with the right people can help you get ahead in life. When riding your bike to work, you get to meet and talk to new people who share similar interests.
Apart from making new friends, you also have an opportunity to expand your professional network by connecting with people from different industries. From helping you land a better paying job to landing new clients, biking is a perfect way to network.
8. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Outdoor exercise encourages the body to release a slew of happy hormones, including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Additionally, it helps you avoid crowded public transport and annoying traffic jams. Cycling to work can act as a moderate form of therapy, improving your overall mood, and alleviating anxiety and stress.
9. Improves Posture
While this might not seem like one of the life-changing benefits of bike commuting, it can help you in numerous ways. In addition to preventing unnecessary back pain and muscle tension, it makes you appear more confident, which is essential in the workplace.
It is well-known that the right body language can help you advance your career. Great body posture is one of the ways you can make yourself stand out.
Note: For an ideal posture, your bike seat height needs to be adjusted to fit your body.
10. Increases Brain Power
While riding your hardtail mountain bike to work won’t turn you into an astrophysicist overnight, it can make you smarter. Research has proven that daily exercise can prevent cognitive decline, improve overall brain performance, and sharpen memory and learning. This means that simply using your trusty 2-wheeled ride can make you better at your work.
11. Improves Sleep Quality
With modern-day stresses and high levels of screen time, disconnecting and falling asleep is a struggle for a large number of workers. Sleep is extremely important – it improves your concentration and attention at work, boosts your immune system, reduces stress levels, takes care of your mental well-being, and helps you maintain a healthy heart.
A strong correlation exists between cardio-respiratory fitness and sleep patterns. A lower level of cardio-fitness is linked to poor sleep quality and the inability to fall asleep. Providing regular cardiovascular exercise, cycling to work boosts your cardio-respiratory fitness, making it much easier for you to fall and stay asleep.
12. Makes Breathing Cleaner Air Possible
In the United States, approximately 30% of all the harmful greenhouse emissions come from the transportation sector. These harmful gases can get to you even if you are sitting inside your car.
According to research, you are more likely to breathe volatile organic compounds and harmful air inside a car than when riding your touring bike. This is especially true for drivers stuck in traffic where the driver is sitting right behind another car’s tailpipe. As noted earlier, shifting to riding your bike helps clear the air of the harmful gases, making the environment safer for everyone.
13. Perfect for Exploring the Surroundings
If you use public transport to get to work, you probably have no choice over the route you end up following. If you own a car, you probably follow the same route to and from work every day. One of the benefits of biking to work is that you get the freedom to take a different route to the office.
You may find a new beauty spot or perhaps a shortcut to work. Riding your college bike to work allows you to stop, and take landscape and scenic photographs. You get to turn and look back, or even disappear to an interesting side street.
Biking to work can remind you of the fun you had when you first learned how to ride a bike as a kid. It allows you to integrate the simple feeling of exhilaration into your daily grind.
14. Improves Road Safety
Having more cyclists on the roads means that it is safer for everyone else. As more people ride their bikes in a given city, the number of collisions between the drivers and the cyclists decreases – this because the driver’s behavior changes to include safer driving practices when pedestrians and cyclists increase.
It is also worth noting that once a city notices an increasing number of cyclists, it might be more inclined to increase the number of bike lanes and other cycling-related infrastructure to encourage the riders. These further boosts road safety.
15. Purchasing a Bike Is Not Mandatory
Cycling to work does not mean that you need to invest in a bike. If you are currently on a budget and live in a big city, you can take advantage of bike-sharing programs. This is extremely convenient since it helps you avoid maintenance practices while enjoying the benefits of using a bike for traveling.
With an annual or monthly fee, you can get a bike whenever you need one. You can grab one in one part of your city and then drop it in another area.
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While cycling does have its downsides, the benefits of biking to work outweigh its limitations. It is also easy to prepare for the majority of the limitations associated with biking to work. For example, the right biking wear should prepare you for warm weather in summer and cold weather in winter.
In this guide, we have detailed the benefits of bike commuting. From keeping you fit without a gym membership to helping you save both time and money, using your bike to get to work is an ideal alternative to using a car or public transport.