15 Benefits of Biking to Work
National Bike to Work Day is on Friday, May 17th this year. If you follow us on social media (which you totally should!) we have been celebrating Biking to Work all week long by encouraging people to get out and start pedaling. Here at Fitneff, we are big fans of biking to work, we try our best to bike for most of the year – although living in Calgary there are days that the weather gets the best of us.
I have been a dedicated biker since starting with Fitneff three years ago. When I started biking, I didn’t realize all the benefits that came with cycling my way to the office. Since then I have discovered benefits ranging from mental health, physical health, financial, environmental and community-based benefits. Listed below are some of the top benefits I have personally discovered since starting my biking journey.
Mental Health Benefits
1. Improved Sleep
Getting in a daily bike ride can actually improve your sleep quality. A mix of exercise and being exposed to daylight will help your body reset to a more natural state. According to ECF, Stanford University researchers, just 20-30 minutes of cycling every day can help people to fall asleep twice as fast and increase the time spent sleeping by an hour.
2. Increased brain power
Biking increases blood vessels! Which means your brain is getting more blood flow, this can help replenish the neurons that help with thought processing and memory. Great way to start your workday if you ask me!
3. Increase Happiness; Decrease Stress
Any type of exercise that requires some effort will help relieve any tension or stress, lowering levels of depression and anxiety and in return improving your happiness. Taking the time to bike daily can give you time to process your worries and enjoy some fresh air!
Physical Health Benefits:
4. Getting your workout in
No scheduling issues here! You’ll no longer have to figure out how to make time for the gym. Getting to the gym or making time for a home workout can be hard when dealing with a busy schedule, making the choice to bike to and from work will help you get your workout in without having to make time for it.
5. Fresh Air
Biking to work will give you a great opportunity to get some fresh air! Fresh air has a lot of benefits including increased oxygen flow, improve blood pressure and it helps to clean your lungs.
6. Strengthen your immune system
Because biking provides so much circulation it can help boost your immune system. Researchers have found that cycling fives days a week lowered your chance of getting the common cold by 43%-46%. Want to avoid getting sick? We suggest biking to work!
7. No Need to buy gas!
With some gas prices in Canada as high as 154.6, there is so much money to be saved by switching from driving to biking to work. Cycling to work is a great way to save money on these crazy high gas prices!
8. Parking is free
Depending on where you work parking can be very costly. Over at the Fitneff Office parking can be around $100/month, which compared with some other prices downtown Calgary is actually a steal of a deal! But it is a big reason why most of us have switched to biking, we avoid the cost of parking and enjoy our morning bike rides instead.
9. Save on Health Care
Because biking is so great for your overall health, you are reducing your risk of serious health conditions such as heart and lung disease and even cancer. In the long run, this can really help you save on medical expenses and reduce the costs of insurance policies.
10. Improve air quality
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, transportation vehicles are a major source of global warming emissions making our air dirty. Biking doesn’t produce pollutants like cars, trucks, and buses do, so making the switch will help improve our air quality.
11. Use Less Resources
Manufacturing a car or public bus requires a lot of materials. Think about the tires, leather seats, all the industrial materials, windows, and even batteries. When you compare materials needed for a vehicle to a bike, bikes used a lot fewer resources and time to create.
12. Save Trees
All tires use rubber! According to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a large amount of this rubber comes from rubber plantations in Yunnan. These plantations have caused a lot of environmental concerns within the forests that these plantations are killing. Two small Bike tires will use much less rubber then four car tires.
13. Community events
Biking to work in a city? That city likely has a lot of fun events happening around biking to work! Calgary’s big event, Bike to Work Day, happens in May and has been running for 13 years now. This even includes a free pancake breakfast, energy pit stops, vendors and free bike tune-ups! Lots of cities are putting on events to support bikers!
14. Make new friends
Cycling is a great way to make a few new friends. Many cities across Canada have local cycling clubs full of people with similar interests. Joining one of these clubs will automatically help you meet new people and improve your cycling game! Cycle Canada Directory has a great list of clubs across Canada.
15. Safer Roads
The more bikes on the road, the safer our roads will be. Drivers can easily get distracted or become careless behind the wheel making our roads more dangerous for everyone (including drivers and bikers!). The more people trade in their car for a bike, the safer our roads will become for everyone!
We hope that these benefits will be enough to encourage you to start biking to work or encourage you to keep biking if you already do! Biking is such a great way to integrate movement into your daily life and it brings so many benefits into your day. And don’t forget to celebrate National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17th, 2019.