Why should you switch to a bike?
Strengthening your muscles, boosting your mood and protecting the environment. These are just some of the many benefits of cycling! And World Bicycle Day is a perfect time to switch to two wheels!
World Bicycle Day
It’s a fairly recent holiday, as this year marks its third anniversary! The World Bicycle Day was set up by the United Nations to promote the bicycle as an ideal means of transport, enhancing wellbeing and helping to better protect the environment. Still not sure if it’s worth switching to one for your commute to work, the gym or to visit friends? Here’s a list of benefits that will certainly convince you!
1. Cycling and environmental benefits
According to the analyses of the European Cyclists' Federation, cycling is 13 times less harmful for the environment than driving a car. Cycling produces only 21 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre travelled. By comparison, driving a car produces 271 g and taking a bus 101 g per kilometre travelled. So as you can easily calculate, cycling is the most environmentally friendly mean of transport!
Experts are also speaking more and more about the fact that cars contribute to the production of harmful PM 10 and PM 2.5 particulates and that they are the biggest contributors to air pollution in big cities.
By switching to a bicycle you also reduce the so-called „noise pollution”. The noises of engines, motorbikes, horns are some of the most negative noises of a big city, which have a negative influence on mental health of its inhabitants and increase their stress level. So by cycling, you contribute to a quieter and more relaxing city, where everyone lives better.
2. Cycling and health benefits
Cycling also brings a whole bunch of benefits to your body! It’s a sport that is safe for you and holistically improves your wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
- Better posture
By riding a well-fitting bike, especially in terms of height, you can easily improve your posture. When you ride, you engage various muscle groups that don’t work at all when you sit for eight hours behind a desk.
- The perfect workout
Cycling is one of the best cardio workouts you can possibly give to your body. Thus, World Bicycle Day could be the perfect time to start fighting for better health and well-being.
You can burn a lot of calories during a cardio workout. An hour’s ride at a steady, moderate speed can burn up to 500 kcal!
Cardio also improves your performance, speeds up your metabolism, enhances the removal of toxins from your body and, as with any sport, strengthens your immunity. Riding a bike outdoors can do this even better, as cycling outside on a sunny day also leads to the release of large amounts of vitamin D. And as we know, it has a huge impact on our immunity!
- Stress reduction
Sport has the same effect on your mind as a bar of chocolate. You may find it hard to believe when you’re riding your bike with sweat dripping down your face, but prolonged or intense exercise leads to the release of endorphins, which cause euphoria. By cycling every day, or at least a few times a week, you improve your mood and take better care of your mental health.
- Better oxygenation of the body
Cycling also improves the oxygenation of the whole body, which in turn boosts immunity and the efficiency of your body. In addition, while cycling your heart rate increases, which results in improved oxygenation and nourishment of the heart and a better work of the entire cardiovascular system.
- Muscle strengthening
Regular cycling is not only a perfect cardio workout for your body, it also strengthens your muscles. The leg muscles, especially the calf muscles, but also the muscles of the arms, shoulders, neck area and deep abdominal muscles are strengthened best when riding a bike.
In fact, cycling is simultaneously a cardio workout, strength training, and yoga, because it relaxes the muscles of the whole body.
3. Benefits for your wallet
If the health and environmental benefits haven’t convinced you to switch to a bike yet, maybe the savings in your wallet will.
If you drive your car every day, you probably know how much money disappears from your wallet – for insurance, petrol, car repairs.
Even if you travel by public transport, you usually spend about 100 PLN a month. In a year, that’s more than 1200 PLN, which you could spend on any other specific purpose.
4. Saving time
Cycling saves you even more time than money. Using any other means of transport in the city, you risk getting stuck in traffic jams. Whether in a hot bus or an air-conditioned car, you are wasting your precious time. A bicycle does not stand in traffic jams, and the ever-increasing number of cycle lanes in towns and cities makes cycling not only fast and pleasant but also perfectly safe.
Why not try out the benefits of cycling today! World Bicycle Day is the perfect time to start! But how? Take small steps so you don’t get discouraged at the very beginning. Instead of taking two stops by bus to meet a friend, get on your bike. Cycle to a nearby park, go shopping at the market. Increase the distances every day, until eventually cycling to work will no longer be a problem for you!