Biking offers tons of benefits. From physical, to mental, to environmental and beyond, making the switch to riding a bike is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for our world. If you don’t believe me, just check out these 15 ways in which biking can change your life. I’m sure you’ll think differently by the end.
1. It’s a workout that you can incorporate into your already busy schedule.
For most people will full time jobs and other commitments, it can be hard to find the time and energy to exercise. Exercise is incredibly important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By making the switch to biking on your commute to work, you essentially kill two birds with one stone. You get to work and back home again, but in the process you’re burning calories.
2. It saves money.
Bikes don’t cost as much as cars to maintain, plus they don’t need fuel–that’s what your legs are for! There are a lot of calculators out there on the Internet that can show you just how much money you would save by making the switch from your car to a bicycle. For example, according to this calculator, if you commuted just 20 miles a day round trip, with no parking fees or toll charges, you would save $9.20 every day by biking instead.
3. It can make you smarter.
According to some recent research, biking, as a form of exercise, can help build up neurons in your brain and help neurotransmitters communicate more effectively. This means more memory, better concentration and, of course, a healthier body.
4. It’s convenient.
With more and more people making the switch to bikes, it’s becoming easier to find bike racks on city streets. If you’re looking to commute to work or run errands on your bike, you probably won’t have any trouble finding a parking space. And, since bikes are outnumbered by cars, say goodbye to wandering up and down aisles looking for your car.
5. Bikes are diverse.
There are many different kinds of bikes, and many different bike manufacturing companies. According to one bicycle site, there are at least 17 different kinds of bikes, including city bikes, touring bikes, cyclocross bikes, and cruiser bikes.
6. It’s family-friendly.
Even if you’re used to toting a toddler around, bikes are a great alternative to cars. There are many different kinds of tandem bikes, for parents and older children, as well as car seat-like additions to regular bicycles. Small carriages can also be attached to a parent’s bike for easily towing any youngsters.
7. You’ll build muscle.
Biking is a great way to build leg muscles. It works your glutes, calves, and quads, leaving you with lean muscle from your ankles to your tush. And building muscle is a great way to stay in shape, as muscle tissue helps maintain a high metabolism.
8. You can take in the sights.
Biking is unique in that it allows you to get quickly from one place to another while giving you the full benefit of being able to take in your surroundings. Whether you’re dashing off to something important or simply going for a leisurely ride, biking allows you to really see your environment.
9. You can do it with others.
Forming bonds with others is important, and biking clubs are very popular. Many of them are welcoming to cyclists of all backgrounds and experience levels, so don’t be intimidated. No one expects you to be able to participate in the Tour de France. This can be a great way to meet people and make new friends, all while bonding over a shared interest.
10. It can make you happier.
There is evidence that biking can increase your mood and help get rid of stress you might be carrying around. Cycling, like most exercise, creates an endorphin release that makes you happy and alert.
11. It’s environmentally friendly.
Cars are, as a general rule, pretty bad for the environment. They release emissions that damage the environment and are dependent upon the oil industry, which also destroys the environment. Biking relies only on your own energy, so there are no significant negative externalities.
12. You can take bikes anywhere.
If you want to take your bike to another part of the country and go biking there on vacation, you’re able to do so fairly easily. It’s a great way to incorporate biking, vacation time, and safe environmental practices all together.
13. It makes you healthier even after you’ve stopped.
According to some research, biking helps burn calories even after you’ve stopped biking. For up to a few hours after your ride, you could still be burning more calories than if you hadn’t ridden your bike at all.
14. You’ll have more energy.
Biking helps you have more energy throughout the day, even after you’ve cycled. This leads to more productivity and increased mood.
15. It’s fun.
Biking is a great way to get healthy, save money, and save the environment. But most importantly of all, biking is just really fun. So hop on a bike and see the benefits for yourself.
Featured photo credit: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving./Khanh Hmoong via flickr.com