It just so happens to be National Bike Month, and today is Bike to Work Day. So clearly the world is trying to tell you it’s time to get pedaling! Though the weather, crazy drivers and not wanting to show up to work dripping in sweat can be deterrents, riding your bike to work is actually totally doable – and has tons of benefits. If you’re looking for a great way to get around, why not try biking? According to Bolt Insurance Agency, over 750,000 Americans use bicycles as their primary means of commuting daily. Biking provides several excellent benefits, including:
1. If you want to avoid going to the gym, try biking back and forth to work instead.
You can walk to work, but unless you live next door to your job, you’re probably getting some decent exercise. Women’s Health magazine states that a 135-pound woman can burn 488 calories by pedaling 12 to 14 miles per hour for 60 minutes. Not only will you feel amazing, but your legs will look great just in time for summer weather.
2. You can do it in heels.
While it is ideal to bike in sneakers, more women are biking to work while wearing heels. Heels on bikes? That might sound crazy! Despite what you might think, a number of women argues that heels are great for bike riding. “In fact, it makes wearing heels that much easier because your feet hurt less from not having to walk around. I put together my outfits based around the assumption that I will be riding my bike. This opens my world of options up tenfold. I tell you what, a girl cannot stand/walk around this city in four inch stilettos for that long, but she sure as hell can ride in them for hours on end.”
3. It gives you the energy to help power through your day.
The benefits of bike riding are bountiful! A recent study found that those who biked in the morning felt 20% more energized throughout the day and 65% less fatigued. If you’re looking for a way to start your day on the right foot, biking is it!
4. It saves you money.
Yes, bikes come at an upfront cost, but that’s an investment you’re likely to already have made. They only require $308 per year for upkeep and maintenance – a 30th of the price cars need annually. This is all according to the Sierra Club. And not just that, but if you bike ride instead of go to a gym, you’ll be saving money in the long run as well!
5. Your commute won’t kill you or hurt the earth as much.
A new study by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index shows that commuting via car, train, or bus makes people feel more miserable the longer they have to commute. In contrast, riding a bike has significant benefits for mental and physical health. None of us enjoys being cramped up in a small space or smelling someone’s morning breath. And yet, that’s what many of us have to endure when we take public transportation. Swallowing the occasional bug is the most annoying thing you may have to deal with on a bike commute.
By using public transport, you’ll not only improve air quality but also save on gasoline expenses.
6. Women especially benefit from health advantages.
As we keep emphasizing, health is important, and biking to work will actually make you healthier. According to Women’s Health, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in America. According to one study, high blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol are the two leading risk factors. The research entailed having 32 women ride at a moderate to vigorous intensity for 30 minutes or more three times per week. By the end of the year-long study, their blood pressure and LDL levels had decreased significantly.
Not to mention, a study from Sweden found that middle-aged women were less likely to have wrist fractures if they rode bikes to commute. So bike away osteoporosis!
7. Government will reimburse you for biking instead of driving.
As of January 2012, if you commute by bicycle to work three or more days a week, you are entitled to a $20 per month tax-free reimbursement for bike-related expenses.
8. You can wear cute accessories!
Rad makeover or not, many people still feel self-conscious about biking because they believe they will look goofy. You can buy sleek helmets, fun baskets (that some will even carry your dog in if you work in a really cool office), a computer to tell you speed and time, a comfy seat cover, and even a wine rack!!
9. It actually may help you be better at your job.
Being active before work makes you more productive! On average, employees who exercise are 15% more productive than those who don’t. So put away the coffee mug and grab your bicycle instead! If you’re a manager, consider looking into bike support programs for your employees. This could include safe storage places for bikes, allowing employees to walk around in their biking clothes, sponsoring workshops, or even getting certified as a Bike Friendly Workplace. You can learn more about this here.
10. It could motivate a major career change.
Biking to work could change your life the way it did for Olympic cyclist Evelyn Stevens. You never know where your life will take you! He started out as a Wall Street investment banker but ended up racing bicycles on the side. She quit her desk job and represented the United States in the London Olympics. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
Are you a fan of biking to work or does the thought not interest you? Tell us what you think in the comments below!