More energy, lower costs, extra fun, no traffic frustration, faster way to work, longer life, improved health,…cycling makes you a better person in many ways. Leaving your car at home is going to help pollution both locally and globally.
But this month, there are even more reasons to ride your bike on a daily basis. 3o Days of Biking is a pledge to ride your bike every day in April, any distance, any destination. Anyone can share their adventures online with hashtag #30daysofbiking. For every 2 pledges, they will be donating $1 to World Bicycle Relief. A charity specializing in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle programs by providing supply chain management, technical knowledge and logistics expertise across rural Africa through sustainable work-to-own and study-to-own programs. Fast Company has recently named World Bicycle Relief among their Most Innovative Companies of 2016.
So if you are not a cycle enthusiast already, here are the 5 proven benefits bikes offer in oder to improve your life, and others. Join the nation.
1 | Happier feeling
Apart from the increased self-esteem and confidence that getting fitter and leaner will give you, time spent outdoor will cheer you up automatically. Sunlight has the power to boost your levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin and Vitamine-D.
More daylight in your life will even help you sleep better and longer. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time to fall asleep was reduced by half, and they dream for almost an extra hour a night.
2 | Longer lives
Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity with aerobic exercise such as cycling, say major Medical and Research Institutions. Also, studies from Purdue University in the US have shown that regular cycling – even as little as 20 miles a week – can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 50 percent.
3 | Improve your Community
Bicycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation ever invented. By cycling to work, home, school or the shop, you will escape from the traffic jam hell and the parking place nightmare. It increases mobility for those who don’t have access to motor transport, who don’t qualify to drive a car or can’t afford motor transport.
Bicycling in your neighborhood is a great way to meet your neighbors and build community.
Camaraderie of cyclists makes it is to connect and socialize with like-minded people at predictable commute time.
4 | Get leaner
The body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – raises during a bike ride but even for several hours after! So good news. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says Mark Simpson of Loughborough University.
Imagine yourself becoming fitter without really trying, without spending extra time training, and feeling and looking younger. According to the National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation in the US, regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person 10 years younger.
Employees who ride a bike, walk or take public transportation to work have a lower body mass index and body fat percentage than people who drive to work, according to a study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
5 | Environmental Consciousness
When you are cycling, you are not contaminating the atmosphere. Zero pollution. Even more, it takes around five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to manufacture a bike. Bikes are efficient machines too – you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel’ that you put in your ‘engine’, you can do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon.
Transport is on its way to overtaking industry as the major contributor to CO2 emissions in the UK. Vehicles give out about 70 per cent of air pollution in UK towns and cities, and 22 percent of the UK’s total CO2 emissions. Going by bike contributes nothing, and either walking or cycling much more for local journeys would reduce our dependence on oil.
If all commutes in England under five miles were completed by bike instead of car they would save a collective 44,000 tonnes of CO2 every week, the equivalent of heating 17,000 houses. Given that the average speed of rush hour traffic in London is 7mph and a reasonable average cycling speed is 13mph, that makes commuting by bike almost twice as fast as taking the car. Oh, and 10 bikes can be parked in one car space.
If you still need extra motivation, we totally recommend you the documentary Bikes vs. Cars. Enjoy and Ride…