10 reasons to get on a bike today
Cycling has gone way beyond a mere way of travelling from one spot to another. It has become a way of life and the entire cycling ecosystem has developed immensely across the world and especially in United States and European countries. Many Americans however are yet to discover the immense benefits and joys of cycling.
Biking is not only for entertainment, it has huge health benefits, and you can easily choose to do biking to your work place and also do regular biking for exercise and entertainment. If you go about listing the advantages of cycling there will be a huge number. However to make it easier for you to get the gist of the argument, we have created 10 major points that will convince you that cycling is a great thing to do. Let's get down to it then.
Here are our Top 10 reasons to start cycling, which in fact can be taken as reasons for cycling to work every day.
1. A great way to lose weight
One of the easiest, most fun and fastest way to lose weight is by cycling. It is a healthy, regulated and practical way to lose those extra pounds. And all while going to and fro to your workplace or your daily visiting places.
Here's an interesting fact for you - cycling can help you to burn 500 calories an hour. That is really awesome, because it is more than what you burn up while jogging or swimming, and in fact even aerobics does not burn up that much in an hour!
2. Cycling fits right into your day and you don't need to make special time for it
That is right, the reason is that it will take up time that you anyway use in doing day to day activities. Going from one place to another takes time, and if you go on a bike you are using that time to gain health, mental and spiritual benefits. You really don't need to fit cycling into your schedule by making a special slot for it.
Just go anywhere on your bike. Go to work, go to the grocery store, or hey just cycle around the neighbourhood taking in the sights and experiences. The best way to fit in cycling into your every day, is to use it to go to work and come back of course. A good hybrid bike will be a great choice for commuting to work.
Aside from the obvious health benefits, there is much greater convenience in cycling to work. Forget about parking, just lock your bike against any pole, or any area set aside for cycles. The only thing to keep in mind is that if it is a long ride then you may be sweating, and may need to freshen up. If you work in an office where they have provisions for taking a shower, that is absolutely great. Or else you will have to think of ways to change into a fresh clothes etc. to keep body odor etc. at bay.
3. It is great fun - cycling by itself without any other activity attached to it, is just great fun
A simple thing like cycling to the neighborhood store or to a friend's house can be a fun thing to do. Some days you can just leisurely cycle around your neighborhood, taking in sights and sounds and enjoying the breeze on your face. Whatever way you look at it, cycling is quite liberating.
When you are riding a bike, you don't need to worry about traffic jams or parking spots. It frees you to actually enjoy whatever you are exploring, be it a new place, your own town or city. Many places around the world are encouraging tourists to get on a bike and explore the city or town at their own pace. Sightseeing by riding a cycle is becoming common.
4. If you cycle regularly, not only will you lose extra weight, you will stay fit and trim.
Cycling is a full body exercise that helps you stay in shape and builds stamina and energy. It is very good for your heart's health, and also improves lung functioning and capacity, of course you must cycle in an area with clean air for that. Playing sports burns calories, but cycling has an advantage.
Cycling burns more calories than sports like tennis, baseball and football, with the added advantage that it does not cause any harm or do damage your joints. Naturally with your hands, eyes, legs all working in co-ordination, it helps in improving overall co-ordination. It has been proven that cycling also reduces blood pressure.
Administrators across the country have realized that cycling is good for Americans. The more people cycle the healthier they will be, and the lesser they will need to pay for healthcare. That is why Mayors across the United States are emphasizing on creating better cycling infrastructure in cities and towns. In fact a study has revealed that a person who is a regular cyclist, and cycles at least four times a week is spends around 300 dollars less than someone who only drives vehicles.
5. Cycling makes you happy by releasing a natural body chemical called endorphins.
If you don't know what endorphins are, then in simple terms, they are feel-good chemicals that are naturally released by the body. There are two chemicals that are released when you feel happy, endorphins and serotonin. These are actually hormones, and are popularly known as the happiness hormones.
To go a step further, there is a whole segment of the Pharma industry that focuses on these happiness hormones, and sell drugs that are supposed to suppress depression and make you feel better.
Cycling regularly gives much better effects than these drugs. Imagine bypassing an entire Pharma industry and its enormous costs by cycling. It has been proved that cycling to work makes you happier for the entire day and also gives you extra confidence. There are so many benefits you can gain by cycling, even at work, including being more creative.
6. Cycling reduces stress and saves you from negative thought patterns
Imagine a scenario where you are waiting every day at a traffic snarl, sitting in your car, feeling angry and frustrated. This small daily occurrence can send you into depression. When things are out of your control and something bad happens then frustration and unhappiness creeps in. This is what starts off depression.
A small example of this would be a traffic jam, where the movement of your vehicle is beyond your control. This can cause frustration and lead to unhappiness. Cycling prevents this kind of frustration, and in fact it also prevents something that many of us fall prey to once in a while, road rage. Road rage can turn very ugly sometimes, so it is something that we should avoid at all costs.
7. Riding your bike adds to the overall happiness and betterment of the world
The less cars there are, the more bicycles there are, the better the world will be. Cycles instead of cars, make the world a better place, in every possible way. A lot of European cities are living examples of this. Take for instance Amsterdam and Copenhagen where there are a lot more people cycling than driving.
In general these are happier and better places to live in. With fewer cars and more cycles, the air is cleaner, people are healthier and happier, and the world is a better less stressful place. In all such European cities, hybrid bikes are also very popular. These cities and the Governments spend money on creating cycling infrastructure and encouraging the people to cycle. This has made a huge difference in the lives of the people and life in general in numerous European cities.
8. You actually become smarter when you ride a bike
This sounds a little difficult to believe at first, but it is a fact. The reason is that, when ride your bike regularly, it helps to keep your brain working better and also makes your memory sharper. Thus keeps you smarter. Why does that happen, simply because exercise improves blood circulation, and the brain gets more oxygen and works better, as a result. This will also mean that you will do a better job at work, amongst other things.
9. When you ride a bike, you save money
In the US, the average household spends 2000 dollars per year on gas alone. Add to that the cost of buying the car, its maintenance and parking fees. If you ride a bike, you can buy a good one for under 500 dollars and after that you don't need to spend a dime on it for anything. Of course you may need to spend small amounts to repair it, but the savings compared to a vehicle are enormous.
If you actually add all the costs up, you can save close to 9000 dollars a year by riding a bike to work instead of driving. Whoa!
10. Finally, the most obvious one - cycling helps reduce pollution
Everyone knows that vehicles that run on fossil fuels, cause a huge amount of pollution. In fact research has shown that one-third of all greenhouse gases emission in the US is caused by motor vehicles. Compare that to cycling. There is not event the beginning of a comparison, as cycling causes absolutely no emission of gases. If your ride a bike, you definitely contribute to reducing our planet's pollution. That is definitely a good thing to do and also makes you feel good.
You have read about ten reasons to start cycling, and one of the major one's is health. Cycling is overall great for you, and for the entire world. Go in for a good bike, and if your commute to work is too long there is always the option of buying an electric bike that allows you to cycle as well as use battery power. A step above that would be going for an electric moped. And if you want to forego the pollution free advantages, then you can check out a gas powered bicycle.
Hey, just to end with one final fact, cycling is much safer than driving. Falling while cycling, or colliding with another cyclist is a very rare occurrence, and also it consequences are far less serious compared to a car accident. Go ahead and choose a great bike if you don't have one, or head right out for a spin if you already own one.