To be healthy, you must remain physically active. Physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis.
Cycling regularly (Biking to Work) on a bicycle is one of the best ways to stay healthy and reduce your risk of related complications associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Cycling is low-impact and easy to perform. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It’s also fun, inexpensive, and good for the environment.
Biking has several health benefits. It can help you sleep better, lower your risk of serious diseases, and increase overall happiness. In addition, one can ride to work or shops, which is one of the most time-efficient ways to exercise. One billion people ride their bikes daily for transport, recreation, and sport.
Possible Health Benefits of Biking to Work
Cycling is an easy way to maintain your health. It can increase stamina and aerobic fitness to have more physical energy for the rest of your day.
The good thing about cycling is that there are many different intensity levels to choose from- you can decide the pace that suits you. In addition, you can cycle everywhere, across the globe, outdoors and indoors, and it is environmentally better than driving a car or using public transportation.
Helps You Lose Weight
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, people who bike to work have a lower BMI than those who drive to work. Cycling is a moderate-intensity exercise that can help you burn calories and fat.
The average person loses thirteen pounds in their first year of cycling. In addition, cycling is a great workout that does not put pressure on the joints, making it perfect for an overweight person who is out of shape.
You must combine cycling with a healthy diet if you’re trying to lose weight. Research has shown that cycling will burn 1200 kilojoules (300 calories) per hour, which may not sound like much, but the number of kilojoules you burn will add up quickly over time.
British research has shown that half-hour bike rides every day will result in five kilograms of fat loss in one year.
Improves Your Aerobic Fitness
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, cycling can increase aerobic fitness and improve endurance. Also, this is especially true if you cycle for transportation rather than recreation.
Cycling improves strength, balance, and coordination. In addition, cycling is an ideal exercise method for osteoarthritis because it places little stress on joints and is a low-impact exercise.
Cycling does not place much strain on the joints. However, it is ineffective for treating osteoporosis. So it can be suitable for those with osteoporosis not to put extra stress on their joints.
Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who bike to work have a lower risk of developing heart disease or stroke than those who ride in cars.
Protect your heart and circulatory system by bicycling to work. The cardiovascular benefits of cycling have been part of several studies. For example, current research shows that men who cycle for 30 minutes or more a day lower their risk for heart disease.
Studies also show that strong heart muscles, low resting pulse, and lowered blood fat levels are common in people who cycle regularly. In addition, a study showed cyclers had two-to-three times less pollution exposure, which also benefits the lungs.
May Reduce Cancer Risk
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), people who bike to work have a lower risk of developing cancer overall, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer.
While cycling might help you avoid needing a doctor, you can save money on health care costs. In addition, you’ll be healthier and less likely to get sick or have heart problems. So even if you don’t see a doctor often, cycling daily will help you stay healthy.
Improve Sleep Quality
Research shows that any activity that requires a lot of energy, such as riding your bike daily, will lead to less stress and better sleep.
Quality of Air for Breathing
Studies have found that you are more likely to breathe harmful air and volatile organic compounds when sitting in a traffic jam than when cycling. Also, drivers are more likely to be tailgating, pushing toxic fumes into your car.
May Help Manage Type2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious public health concern. However, this study found that people who bike more than 30 minutes a day have a 40% lower risk than those who do not.
Improves Mental Health
Physical activity such as bike riding can help you improve your mental health. Activities such as physical exercise have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. For example, biking to work is a risk-free exercise that can make you smarter. Biking to work prevents cognitive decline and improves your brain function.
Improves Lung Health
A study shows that bicycles, due to their brief but frequent bursts of intense activity, produce more sweat than someone who travels in a car. This sweat contains chemicals which dilute the dangerous fumes and reduces bike riders’ exposure to pollution by up to 74%.
Hand cycles are like tricycles, but hands provide the power for a hand cycle instead of feet. Hand cycles are a type of exercise and recreation for people with certain ailments, such as spinal injuries and people who have had strokes. Velcro straps can hold hands to pedals if necessary.
Improve Movement Awareness
Cycling is not just about doing intense cardio or getting breathless. Technical elements teach you to use your body weight to get the bike where you want it to go.
Gaining these skills can significantly boost your confidence when you start seeing improvement. You might also find that managing your dodgy shopping trolley with its wonky wheels is easier.
Cycling is a low-impact activity, giving you a physical workout without destroying your joints. Unlike running, cycling lets the weight of your body rest on the bike and exerts less pressure on your joints. You will also be less sore than running since you are less likely to get injured while cycling. Cycling also raises muscle mass in your lower body.
The HealthifyMe Note
Biking is a safe and straightforward way to incorporate exercise into our daily lives. Biking also makes us environmentally responsible. In addition, biking improves balance, control, fitness and one’s ability to concentrate. Unless you have a medical condition that stops you from biking, you can take it up at any age.
Safety Measures during Bike Commutes
Riders need over 100 feet to recognise an obstacle and stop riding. Therefore, you should ensure your gear is visible from 600 feet away to keep you safe. Behind-the-wheel texts can take up a driver’s attention for five seconds, during which time they cover the length of an entire football field without looking at the road.
Biking to work can be a great way to get some exercise and help to improve your health. However, there are a few things that you should do to ensure your safety when biking to work.
Here are a few tips:
1. Always wear a helmet. Moreover, this is the single best way to protect your head from injuries in the event of an accident. Not only will wearing a helmet reduce the likelihood of getting brain injuries, but it also helps to keep you safe from other types of injuries, like broken bones.
2. Get a bike that is appropriate for your height and weight. Not all bikes are created equal; some may not match your exact requirement. Consult with a bike shop before purchasing to get the right bike for your needs.
3. Ride safely. It is important to remember that when biking to work, you are sharing the road with cars, trucks, and other cyclists. Use common sense when biking and obey all traffic laws while riding your bike.
4. Plan your route ahead of time. If possible, plan out your route so that you avoid busy roads.
5. Whether you commute in the morning or after work, many cyclists will do it at night. For a safer ride at night, we recommend you ride cautiously and use lights on your bike and helmet.
6. The safest bet for daytime riding is fluorescent colours, but that is because of the sunlight. Therefore, they are not helpful at night. If riding at night, your gears should be of a separate colour than fluorescent light.
As we bike in the dark, it’s essential to be visible from all angles. A headlight attached to your bike will help you see in front of you, but your bike lights are for others’ visibility. You should also add a helmet light to increase visibility and ensure you can see where you’re going while cycling.
7. Bike tires lose air pressure with time and use, so it’s essential to carry an air pump at all times to avoid a flat tire. There are three types of pumps – pocket, standing, and mini-pumps – which vary by price and power.
8. A rack and pannier setup allow you to transport extra bike equipment, apparel, and work items on the bike frame. The rack usually goes over the back wheel of the bike. Panniers are saddlebags that attach to one or both sides.
Carrying your equipment and work gear is challenging when riding the bike. However, a basket attached to the handlebars can carry lightweight items from small pick-up tools to your lunch.
9. If you don’t want to weigh down the back of your bike, a canvas backpack may be a viable alternative. However, overloading a backpack can shift your centre of gravity, so choose an adjustable one that doesn’t constrict motion.
10. Bike fenders reduce the amount of water, grit and dirt splashed on your clothing without distressing your bike. If you are riding in the rain or don’t have time to change when you arrive at work, bike fenders can be worth their investment cost.
11. To keep your bike safe during the workday, invest in a solid metal U-lock. It’s more difficult to pick or cut than other types of locks.
12. You don’t need to use specialised shoes for a bike commute in the city, but you need a different shoe if you are biking on dirt trails daily. Runners or cross-trainers should be enough.
13. You don’t need fancy bike clothing in warm weather. Polyester shorts, cotton socks and a t-shirt should be enough. If you sweat during your commute, change your outfit every time you sweat.
14. To stay dry in wet or cold weather, wear water-wicking socks and waterproof under- and overlayers. If your shoes or boots aren’t waterproof, you may want to buy waterproof athletic pants or ski pants. For your outer layer, use a windbreaker jacket for colder weather and a raincoat for less cold weather.
15. Sunglasses can be beneficial if the weather is terrible. They come in various styles and prices depending on what you need them for.
Healthy Tips to Getting Started
You can do a few things to make your bike commute as successful as possible, whether you’re commuting for the first time or are looking to make improvements.
Here are some tips:
Get a Comfortable Bike
Not all cyclists have the same build or height, so finding a bike that suits you well is crucial. You’ll also want to ensure that the bike is in good condition, with no broken parts or missing pieces. In addition, make sure the saddle is comfortable and properly adjusted.
Choose a Safe Route
If you’re new to cycling, start by choosing relatively flat routes with traffic lights at intersections. Then, as you become more confident on your bike, you can venture out onto more challenging trails or roads. Always obey all traffic laws while riding, and be aware of your surroundings.
Before you leave for work, map out your route and factor in any delays or detours that might occur along the way. Also, this will help avoid any mishaps or accidents along the way.
Ride in Groups
Ride in groups if possible. When cycling in groups, it’s easier and much more fun. In addition, biking in groups can help you to explore areas which you usually do not get to visit. For example, you can set aside a weekend morning and plan to explore nearby water bodies or parks with your group. You can pack a few light snacks and water in a backpack, and you are good to go.
The HealthifyMe Note
A bike commute can be a great way to exercise and improve your health. In addition, it can save you money on car expenses. It can also help reduce traffic congestion and pollution in your area. Finally, bike commuting can give you a feeling of oneness with nature.
Biking to work isn’t just a great way to save on gas; it can also be good for your health. By opting for bike commuting, you’ll reduce the pollution you contribute to the environment and improve your overall fitness level.
Not only that, but cycling is one of the most sustainable forms of transportation. It doesn’t use valuable resources like oil or coal and doesn’t produce harmful emissions.
If these reasons aren’t enough to convince you to start biking to work, maybe this will. Studies have shown that people who bike to work are more productive than their car commuting counterparts. In addition, they report feeling less stress throughout the day.