We’ve talked extensively about the benefits of an active lifestyle, and we don’t mean simply going to the gym for 30-60 minutes out of the day. While structured exercise should definitely be a part of your regular routine, studies show that eliminating prolonged periods of inactivity throughout the day is more important to long-term health.
There’s a variety of ways to increase your daily activity. Standing desks. Taking the stairs. Short walks throughout the day. Joining a sports team.
And, of course, biking to work. May is National Bike Month, and this week is National Bike to Work Week. Not only does ditching the car decrease your carbon footprint, spending the extra hour or so a day putting your muscles to good use can do a lot for your long-term health!
Stephanie Averkamp over at FitnessforWeightLoss.com put together this nifty infographic on the health benefits of biking to work. Here’s a brief overview followed by the actual infographic.
Why Bike to Work: Physical Health
Biking to work gets an automatic ‘thumbs-up’ because it replaces prolonged sitting (driving a car or riding on a bus) with activity. This is reflected in the infographic, which points out that each additional hour spent in a car per day is associated with a 6% increased risk of becoming diabetic.
A 30-minute bike ride can burn 2-500 calories, depending on weight. And with physical exercise comes cardiovascular benefits. Those who bike regularly to work experience better blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels. These are important biomarkers. Our WellnessFX members test them regularly to decrease their risks of heart disease, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders down the line.
Why Bike to Work: Mental Health
Think about the typical commute to work. Traffic. Crowded metro trains. Late buses. An angry, impatient, ‘I-should-still-be-sleeping’ crowd.
Now compare it to biking. On most roads you have your own lane. If you’re a few minutes late leaving the house, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be a half an hour late to work because you missed the bus. There’s no fighting for a seat. And you get an energizing workout to start your day.
According to the infographic, people who bike to work:
- Have increased feelings of freedom, relaxation, and excitement when compared to car commuters
- Believe their health has improved
- Have higher well-being, self-confidence, and stress tolerance.
Why Bike to Work: Pocketbook Health
In some living situations, it may even be feasible for a bike to replace the car altogether. According to the infographic, it takes $8000 to upkeep the average car per year, whereas a bike requires only $308. That’s a difference of $7692 per year!
Check out the infographic below for useful tips on how to start biking to work today!
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.