Whether you’re commuting to work or taking a spin around the corner to the supermarket, regular biking can change your life. If you’re not sure whether biking will meet your lifestyle needs, consider the following five benefits of switching to two wheels for running errands and more.
Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle
Image via Flickr by Essential_Photos
Biking offers several lasting health benefits, even if you don’t ride every day. From losing weight and preventing heart disease to improving lung function and hastening injury recovery, riding a bike can improve your quality of life and help you meet your fitness goals.
Many people never try bike riding because they don’t want to invest in a bike. Consider using a bike-sharing program instead of buying a bike of your own. You won’t have to find a place to store the bike, and bike sharing offers an affordable alternative to other types of transportation.
Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
Even if you drive a small car, a 10-mile, round-trip commute every weekday for a year produces as much as 0.7 tons of carbon dioxide. Bikes, however, don’t consume fuel. You power them with your legs, which means that using a bike as your form of transportation can lessen your impact on the environment.
You may enjoy other forms of physical activity, but biking does more than increase your heart rate. It also helps to reduce the carbon emissions created by gasoline-powered vehicles.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Biking can improve self-esteem, increase concentrations of positive hormones in your body, and work out tension in your muscles. If you experience stress, consider biking to relieve that stress and enjoy your life more. While forms of exercise can make you feel better, biking offers the added benefits of fresh air, beautiful scenery, and convenient transportation.
Spend Less Money
Whether you drive your own car or use public transportation, getting from point A to point B costs more money than riding your own bike or renting someone else’s bike. If you’re low on funds, consider using biking as a convenient way to stretch your budget. Not only will you get in shape, ease stress, and shrink your carbon footprint, but you’ll also feel better about your finances.
Increase Your Endurance
Do you get winded while walking up a few flights of stairs? Does the idea of mowing the lawn or vacuuming your home fill you with dread? Many people find themselves in poor shape — not only because of muscle weakness, but also because of a lack of endurance.
Biking builds your endurance steadily but comfortably. You can travel longer distances than you would on foot, but you get the same cardiovascular and pulmonary benefits. Try biking to work every day for a week, then see how much easier your weekend chores become.
If you’ve never gone biking before, you can test the waters with a bike rental. Get a feel for different brands and types of bicycles so that you’ll know what to buy once you’ve turned regular biking into a habit.