Do you remember that picture back in 2014 showing the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte bicycling to work one morning? The picture became viral and the media jumped at the opportunity to remind people that biking to work has tremendous benefits from all points of view. Are you still reluctant in biking to and from work on a daily basis? Today we have a quick guide showing you why you should get those wheels right now and make your life better!
1. Biking Keeps You Healthy both Physically and Psychologically
Biking is probably the cheapest way of staying fit and keeping up with your exercise program. First, biking means better cardiovascular health. Consider that this cardio routine to and from work helps you lose weight and keep your heart and lungs in perfect shape. According to governmental studies in countries where biking to work is the norm and not the exception, biking is good for you for the following reasons:
· Full body muscle workout;
· Low impact exercise with little strain on your joints;
· Increases strength and aerobic fitness;
· Stronger bones;
· Better body posture and coordination;
· Better weight control;
· Better contagion prevention – it is not likely to contract illnesses by biking in comparison to traveling by bus or subway.
Besides keeping your body in perfect shape, cycling to work has tremendous psychological benefits. We all know physical activity in general boosts the happiness neurotransmitters in our brains, helping us avoid anxiety and depression and boosting our moods to have a great day at work.
The energy and the enthusiasm you will feel after riding your bike to work are healthier than energy drink and have excellent effects on your state of mind. From a psychological point of view, biking to work comes with the following advantages:
· Biking to work alleviates stress symptoms and improves sleep patterns in people with insomnia;
· Biking in both urban and outdoor environments boost self-confidence and daily moods;
· Biking in the city keeps you alert, boosting cognitive skills such as attention and memory; it also enhances your reflexes and problem solving skills;
· Besides memory and attention, biking also sharpens your overall brain capacity, improves learning, and prevents mental declining; in other words, you will become better at your job in time.
If you want to bike to work in a safe and easy manner, we recommend you two steps to take right away:
· Look for beginner mountain bikes; they will offer you everything you need in an urban environment: excellent support, safety, durability and reliability, great control, and especially great comfort when you have to ride through potholes, bumps, and everything else the streets throw at you.
· Look for a biking partner; if you are a beginner, it is better to share the road with a friend who knows the routes, keeps you company, has fun with you, shows you the shorter/better roads, helps you in need, and so on. Riding together with a colleague from work is an amazing social and personal experience you should not skip!
2. Biking Saves You a Lot of Money
According to the AAA, if you own a midsize sedan, your costs amount to approximately $8,600 a year. Owning a bike costs you around $300 a year. The costs of gas keep rising, together with car insurance premiums, other taxes, and so on. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some biking money saving features you may have never considered yet:
· You save money on your gym subscription, gym gear, and so on and so forth. As long as you get a solid mountain bike and safety gear, you will work out daily, twice a day, free.
· You save money on health care. This is not obvious, but if you bike and keep on biking, you will prevent a handful of medical problems; in other words, biking to work keeps you healthy and away from hospitals, bills, and insurance issues.
· You get money from the government, albeit indirectly. In case you didn’t know, the Bicycle Commuter Act of 2008 stipulates qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement ($20) for “reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment.” (Section 211 of the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”).
· You save even more money by not owning a bike at all; you now can access very interesting bike sharing programs in major cities such as Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Miami, and more, for a very small annual fee (about $100).
3. Biking Saves You Time
Stuck in the morning traffic jam? Depressed because rush hour is a killer of souls? Bikes will save you from these daily nightmares. Here is how:
· You get to work faster by bike than by car;
· You can get to and from work faster by bike than by using public transportation (that gets stuck in the same traffic jams as cars are), meaning you can sleep a bit more in the morning without worrying about being late to work;
· You save tremendous time with looking for a parking lot and parking; you save time by riding the bike straight to your workplace and not having to walk in between the bus station and your office;
· If you tune your bike to be able to carry light groceries, biking saves you a lot of time when it comes to going to the supermarket, finding a parking space, parking the car, and so on and so forth.
The obvious reason why you should start biking to work right now is the significant drop in your healthcare costs and the toll we take on our planet. However, by biking every day, we could all push the economy forward on all possible levels. Are you afraid of rain? You can get some excellent waterproof biking equipment and accessories and have the time of your life on two wheels with no problem!
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