Cycling to work improves your health and standard of living, and there have been vast improvements to the cycling infrastructure across America since the early 2000s. Following the beginning of the pandemic, more people are choosing to cycle during their commutes to work rather than take public transport or drive. The increase in cyclists across the country has the U.S. on the right track for making bigger improvements to the infrastructure and the overall environmental impact of reducing emissions produced by vehicles.
There are innumerable benefits of cycling to work, and in our guide, we have compiled our favorites for why you should choose cycling as your mode of transport during your commute.
Improve Your Fitness
It’ll come as no surprise that biking to work is good exercise. While the exact calories burnt will vary depending on the person, topography, and speed of the rides, on average, cycling burns as many calories as jogging without the negative impacts on the joints. Using a bike for your commute will improve your aerobic and cardiovascular fitness as well as lower your blood pressure.
You will notice a boost in energy when you begin cycling, which can help with the morning brain fog that many workers complain of when starting their days. Using your morning commute to build muscle and improve coordination will feel almost like cheating, as cycling is a far easier form of exercise than running, and it won’t feel like a chore. Choosing a commuter bike that fits your height and is suitable for your riding style will help you achieve the most comfortable ride and get the most out of your fitness.
It’s Fun, And Will Make You Happier
Your commute will transform when you make the change to cycling as it is an exceptionally fun mode of transport. Many adults look back wistfully on their fond childhood memories where they rode their bikes around the neighborhood, and many wish they could return to those carefree days. When you bike to work, you will be able to integrate the exhilaration you remember from your childhood back into the daily grind. As you travel to work, you won’t be confined to a vehicle and will be able to observe your surroundings, wave at fellow cyclists, and hear the birds sing; you might even find yourself wishing that your commute was longer.
As you enjoy your daily commutes, you will notice that you’re also feeling happier when you’re not biking. Sitting in traffic, riding on crowded public transport, and navigating congested cities are activities that most people would say do not make them happy or calmer. However, cycling has been likened as a modern form of therapy as it transforms your commute from dull and stressful to a happy one. Cycling and exercise, in general, have been attributed to reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and alleviating symptoms of depression; this is due to how exercising outdoors in both rural and urban areas can improve your overall mood and boost self-confidence.
Safer Than You Think
As the infrastructure for cyclists continually improves and more people take up the sport, the safety for those biking also increases. A 2008 study published in Science Daily from the University of New South Wales found that as cycling participation increases in any given area, the number of collisions and injuries reduce. Even though the safety of commuting on bikes has improved, it is still worth getting yourself insured on a specialized policy to cover any unexpected accidents you may have while riding your bike.
Less Likely To Get Sick
Getting fresh air always does the body some good, but changing from commuting via rideshares and public transport can reduce the likelihood of getting sick. Many commuters found ways to travel to work that avoided public transport and rideshares during the pandemic to reduce the risk of exposure to Covid-19, and many of those ways involved taking up cycling. Still, there are other risks to traveling in overcrowded conditions. Many public transport users were found to be almost six times more likely to suffer from respiratory infections; E. coli, salmonella, and campylobacter were also found on board many public modes of transportation, increasing the risk of getting sick.
It’s More Convenient
Many people assume that cycling to work is inconvenient, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Biking is actually more convenient as you don’t have to spend 10 minutes searching for a parking spot every morning only to find yourself blocked in when you leave work that evening. When you take your bike to work, finding somewhere to store it during the day is easy; secure it to the nearest pole or a bike parking rack if your employer supplies one. As a cyclist, you won’t get stuck in traffic jams during rush hour, roadblocks, or be susceptible to any public transport delays. This will make your commute faster and reduce your daily stress, letting you arrive at work feeling fresh and energized.