Bike commuting and why you should start
With traffic in major cities on the rise, more and more people are looking into bike commuting. This saves increased travel time, petrol costs going up, and traffic jams. Thankfully there are other alternatives to getting to work such as biking. If you checked one of the above boxes, you are a prime candidate to why you should cycle to work. The benefits of biking to work are endless, saving you both money, time, and the health benefits are superior. Below are the reasons why more people are leaving their car at home and starting to commute on a bike.
Saving Money by bike commuting
Bike commuting is a relatively low-cost alternative to driving. You are no longer purchasing the same amount of fuel for the car while being reminded of the rising gas prices. It also lowers the maintenance cost of your vehicle while minimizing the percentage risk of a breakdown or untimely repair costs.
A recent study in America showed that the average yearly cost of owning a sedan was USD 9,000, While a commuter bike retails at anywhere from USD 250-1500.
Bike commuters can benefit from such things as fenders, a rack or cycling gear, for the most part, it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. With a rough maintenance cost of around USD 50-200 per year, owning a bike could save you upwards of USD 7000 the first year.
The convenience of bike commuting
When you talk to most people about bike commuting, the most common misconception is it’s inconvenient. In most major cities, there is a rise in both traffic and roadworks, meaning you are more likely to save time cycling. Cyclists are less likely to get stuck in traffic jams and aren’t susceptible to the usual transit delays, which includes both driving and public transport.
Specific cycling backpacks and panniers now fill the market, making any work materials such as your laptop and clothing easy to carry. Typically these bags are waterproof, meaning it is more than safe to bring any valuables with you.
If your bike to work is less than 15km round trip, the difference in commuting time would be insignificant. Even if your bike commute is longer, the 30mins of added sleep won’t be as refreshing as early morning riding. You will arrive at work refreshed and alert, while the evening ride home should leave you stress-free and relaxed.
Nowadays, most employers provide facilities to make it more convenient for bike commuters. Often providing secure bike parking and showers to their employees.
Increase in your bike fitness
If your time hungry and juggling work, family and fitness into every day, bike commuting allows you to squeeze in your training both before and after work.
While the exact calories burned cycling varies between each person, based on time cycling, speed and the topography. Cycling on average can burn as many calories as running and provide a lower impact on the joints.
The national health organization states for healthy adults between 19-64 yeas old, 150mins of weekly exercise is needed to stay healthy. The average bike commuter spends around 30mins a day travelling to work.
Cycling to work is a convenient way to improve cardiovascular and aerobic fitness while helping to lower blood pressure and improve coordination, without the added impact of running. Many studies have shown early morning exercise can help concentration levels throughout the day. So sneaking in the health benefits of cycling to work is positive for most, if not all, people.
Health benefits of bike commuting
It shouldn’t be a surprise that exercise or physical activity is right for you. What many of you don’t know is just how good it can be. While cycling provides an added fitness routine to your day, it also offers significant health benefits.
A recent study in the Uk (http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1456) followed people for around five years. Counting incidences of death, cancer and heart disease. They found those bike commuters had a 46% lower risk of developing heart disease, and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer. Other studies have shown cycling can boost your brainpower, relationships, and happiness.
Most people would think a city cyclist would inhale more pollution from vehicles. According to a study from Imperial College in London, showed that researchers found passengers in cars, taxis and buses substantially inhaled more pollution than that of your typical cyclist or walker. Taxi passengers were exposed to close to 100,000 ultrafine particles, which damages cells and the lungs. Bus passengers inhaled just under 100 000 and passengers in cars was around 40 000. Cyclists, when tested, were exposed to just under 8000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimetre.
The results found that your typical cyclist breathed fewer fumes since they are riding at the edge of the road, rather than in the direct line of exhaust smoke.
Productivity at work
Studies have shown the cycling raises productivity and exercising boosting an employee’s productivity by up to 15%.
When you exercise, you are increasing blood flow to the brain, which helps sharpen awareness. Being at the top of your game will assure your work is to the highest of standard.
So why should you cycle to work? Bike commuting is a low-cost investment with numerous health benefits, helping you to save money, free up time and stay healthy.