May 12-16, 2014, is National Ride your Bike to Work week.
Riding your bike instead of driving has a number of environmental and personal benefits. It is good for your wallet, and is a great workout. Below is a list of why jumping on the “Ride Your Bike to Work” bandwagon can benefit you!
1. Burn calories. Riding your bike 12 to 14 mph for a half an hour can burn approximately 267 calories for a 135-pound woman. To calculate the number of calories you would burn check out this link: http://www.healthstatus.com/perl/calculator.cgi
2. Tone your body. Cyclists are able to build killer legs, quads, glutes, and calves by propelling their bike. The upper body gets its workout through handlebar maneuvering, giving your body a balanced tone.
3. Give yourself a little extra boost. According to the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, bike riding can improve energy levels by 20% and decrease fatigue by 65%. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/bicycle-fitness?cat=18722&tip=18718
4. Save your joints! Bicycling has a low-impact on your joints compared to running. For maximum low-impact, make sure your knees are bent just slightly (approximately 25 degrees) on the down pedal stroke.
5. Protect your heart. Riding your bike three times a week can help to lower your blood pressure and LDLs, the top two risk factors of heart disease.
6. Increase your brain power. Cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for memory, which begins to deteriorate at the age of 30. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/30-reasons-to-take-up-cycling-23965/
7. Get a better night’s rest. According to a Stanford University of Medicine Study, sedentary insomnia sufferers were asked to cycle for 20-30 minutes every day. As a result, the time required for insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by an hour. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/30-reasons-to-take-up-cycling-23965/
8. Cycle away cancer. Exercise of any type has plenty of evidence to ward off cancer, but a number of studies have shown that cycling is specifically good for keeping cells in working order and reducing the risk of breast cancer by nearly half. http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/article/30-reasons-to-take-up-cycling-23965/
Statistics show that over half of the U.S. population lives within five miles of their workplace, making the ride to work a doable 20-minute ride. With the increasingly beneficial environmental, health, and economic perks to cycling, joining the National Ride Your Bike to Work Week is a wellness positive!