Bicycle Commuters Are Up To 6 Times Healthier Than Average Person
Getting to work in the morning isn’t the highlight of many people’s day. But if you’re someone who rides your bike into the office every day, your commute should give you a reason to smile.
A recent study has shown that people who ride their bike on their daily commute are enjoying health benefits that few other commuters are getting — especially if you live in an urban area like San Francisco.
Momentum Mag reports:
“A recent study undertaken at Brunel University in London, England, found that English people who regularly commute by bike are four times more likely than other commuters to get the 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week recommended by the World Health Organization. With its focus narrowed to London rather than nationwide, bike commuters were six times more likely to meet the recommended activity guidelines.”
You might not think that a simple ride to work would be a game-changer for your health and fitness, but it turns out that even the most casual ride can offer huge gains in terms of physical benefits.
“Around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can boost energy, improve sleep patterns, increase resilience to disease, control weight, and have a significant positive impact on a person’s mental health and overall mood.”
The growing number of adults in our country (and around the world) who live sedentary lives with next to no physical activity is a problem. People who don’t get even the minimum level of exercise will face a wide range of health problems that only get worse if no changes to lifestyle are made.
However, it’s hard to convince many people today to get more active. Many working adults today feel like there is simply no time to exercise. Working long days at the office and then going home exhausted to veg out in front of the TV — where are they supposed to make time to go to the gym for 30 minutes every work day?
There’s an easy solution: get that exercise during your commute.
You have to get to work anyways, and for many people, riding their bike takes the same amount of time or even less than their normal commute. Remember, even if you aren’t an expert rider and you’re going fairly slow, you will still be able to zip past traffic jams and park right in front of (or even inside) your office building, saving precious time.
The more you ride your bike to work, the easier it will get. And you don’t have to ride far in order to get the health benefits from cycling. Just 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes going home for 5 workdays every week will give you the 150 minutes of moderate exercise recommended by the World Health Organization.
That’s not a very big commitment in exchange for some very big gains.
If you don’t think you can make a bicycle commute part of your everyday routine, try just riding one day a week (maybe every Friday) or a couple days per week. Something is better than nothing, and the more you practice commuting on your bike, the better your experience of riding to the office will be.
“[Study lead Glenn] Stewart also cast aside any notion that potential risks caused by cycling outweighed the potential benefits of the exercise. ‘Yes, there are risks in terms of collisions and exposure to pollution, but those things statistically are very, very small in comparison with the health benefits that you get from cycling,’ adding, ‘The evidence on pollution is you’re much better off cycling than being in a car.’”
The post continues:
“As nations worldwide grapple with the obesity epidemic, rapidly rising rates of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, skyrocketing rates of mental health issues, and the 3500 people killed in traffic crashes every day, encouraging regular cycling seems like the least complicated way to begin addressing some very complicated issues.”
A lot of people choose to ride their bike to work to lower their environmental impact or to avoid sitting behind the wheel of their car stuck in traffic every day. But it turns out that even if you don’t ride your bike at lightning speed or up massive hills, a daily bike ride to the office could be the solution to a longer life and a brighter outlook.
Why not trying skipping the subway, bus, or car tomorrow and see if a bike ride might just be the thing to shake you out of your rut and make your commute productive, good for you, and fun.