Did you know cyclists may actually experience less exposure to air pollution when compared to those who travel by bus or car? Not only that, but cyclists also get to their destinations faster and are less likely to have to sit in clouds of pollution, breathing in cleaner air instead.
That sounds like reason enough to bike! If you need more reason, biking has many other physical benefits, is great for your mental health, and helps the environment.
Riding a bike to your destination is a great use of your time. A study from the University of Copenhagen found that riding a bike can be just as effective at burning calories as working out in your free time. If you have somewhere you need to be, biking is a great way to get there and also cross two things off your to-do list at once.
Beyond burning calories on your bike, you’ll receive plenty of other physical health benefits along the way. Biking can contribute to increased muscle strength and reduced risk of cardiovascular issues, such as stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. It can even decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes or help manage the condition. Overall, your entire body benefits from this switch to biking.
Mental Health Benefits
Exercise can be great for mental health, helping your body release endorphins, which trigger positive feelings and reduce your perception of pain. It has also shown to be effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, while improving self-esteem and sleep quality. One study found that cycling, specifically, was associated with a 21.6 percent lower mental health burden. So, if you’re looking for a way to clear your head, try cycling!
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 28.2 percent. This exceeded all other categories measured, such as electricity production, industry, commercial and residential, land use and forestry, and agriculture. Choosing cycling will reduce your personal contribution to those emissions. The fuel required to keep a bike running is the fuel required to keep you running—no petroleum here!
Cycling can provide you with cleaner air on your daily commute, but the benefits don’t stop there! When you start cycling, you’ll find it helps your body, mind, and environment. Overall, it’s a great way to live happily!