For many, there is no better way to travel than by car. Whether it be in the front seat or being driven somewhere, having your very own form of transportation is the seemingly ideal way to execute your daily A to B to Z. However, how would you feel about doing your daily commute in a manner that’s great for the body and soul, not to mention the world in which we live in?
You already know the answer. Check out our top ten reasons why riding a bike is better than driving.
1. It's good for your heart
Cycling is a gentle, low-impact sport that gives your cardiovascular system an effective workout. It has the ability to reduce blood pressure and promote good circulation through dilating your blood vessels, and also increase the elasticity of your arteries, which helps strengthen them..According to a 2017 study published in the British Medical Journal, cycling to work reduces the risk of heart disease by half.
2. It's great for weight loss
Because it is mainly an endurance sport, your body draws its energy from your fat stocks, which helps keep your weight under control. Also, as cycling is a low-impact sport, it doesn’t damage the muscles and joints in the same way. means overweight people suffer less from cycling than they do from walking or running. Cycling can also help counter the impact of osteoporosis on your bones, as it is scientifically proven that physical activity limits the reduction in bone density.
3. It will give your legs a workout
When you pedal you use your leg muscles, particularly your thighs and calves. As your calf muscles contract, they squeeze your veins and help blood flow back to the upper body. Cycling can also prevent varicose veins from developing, whereas long periods of sitting during activities such as driving are a common cause of the ailment.
4. It improves metabolism
Like with any moderate, regular physical exercise, cycling aids digestion, increases blood supply to the brain, and helps maintain muscle.
As a result, if you cycle regularly your physical power will only drop by 5% each decade after the age of 30, compared with 10% for someone leading a sedentary lifestyle (which could certainly include spending long periods of time in the car).
5. and releases stress
As a general rule, after any long car drive, people are stressed. However, (as an even more generalised rule) after any physical exercise, people are more relaxed. With this logic, starting your day by bike and cycling home will reduce nervous tension and anxiety, which is what causes stress. It also means that once home, you will find it much easier to sleep, and be ready for work the next day. This is all because when you exercise, you produce several hormones, including Dopamine secreted during exercise and are responsible for pleasure and alertness. This is the reason why you feel less tired and get a sense of well-being after doing exercise, and Endorphins, which reduce pain and are responsible for euphoria.
6. It's fantastic for the environment
Not only is choosing cycling over driving good for you, it’s great for the planet. Car pollutants have a huge impact on global warming, as well as damaging the ozone layer, which affects our air, soil and water. As part of the 2016 Paris Treaty Agreement, which seeks to make our planet carbon neutral by 2050, we all have our part to play. Be part of the change. Get on your bike. Click here for more information on the impact of driving.
7. It’s social
While carpooling is something that’s becoming more commonplace, nothing beats a group cycle. Whether it’s going into work or just out for a ride, cycling with a gang means you can enjoy the sights together, chat at suitable moments, and enjoy alone time when it suits. For many, it might just be the ideal way to socialise.
8. It saves you money
Assuming that you’ve now been driving for a little while, you will be very aware of how expensive driving can be. From buying the car itself, to paying for insurance, road tax, not to mention regularly refilling or recharging your engine, regular driving can cost a pretty penny. Now consider the cost of cycling. While it’s important to own a good, quality road bike, it’s incredibly unlikely it will ever get close to the price of a car, even before you start with the add-ons. There is of course the argument that a bike won’t help you as much on longer journeys, however with the rise in car rental companies, you’re still much better off with cycling being your number one form of transport.
9. You'll get to know your city or town to better
Commuting by bike isn’t just a practical, cost-effective way of getting from A to B — it should also be fun. Instead of getting stuck in a rut by always driving the same route home, open up your city by bike. Of course some days you need to get home as quickly as possible, but once in a while, shake things up and take the long way home. Whether it be through a park or out into the countryside, it doesn’t really matter where your detour takes you, so long as you enjoy the ride.
10. Finally, you're developing your cycling skills
Simple? Maybe. Obvious? Not always.
When looking at the benefits of riding a bike over driving a car, far too often the fact you are improving your skill set gets overlooked. Cycling should be looked at as something so much more than just a form of transport, it should be looked as an activity, a hobby and one that can stay with you well into your later years. By ditching your car and focusing on the easy joys of riding a bike, you’ll get so much more from your day to day.