The benefits of cycling to and from work are numerous, both for the rider and the environment. The most obvious benefit is to your health. Getting out of the car and onto a bike is a surefire way to burn calories. A woman who weighs 135 pounds, according to Women’s Health, can burn an estimated 488 calories if she bikes 12 to 14 miles in one hour. Even if commutes to the office take less than an hour, the principal still remains: Getting out of the car and into a morning workout is a great start to improving long-term health.
Low Impact, High Reward
In terms of conventional exercise, the benefits of cycling go further than burning calories. Cycling is a low-impact exercise that goes easy on joints like knees and ankles, and even your spine, compared to the stress of high-impact exercise like running. In addition to saving joints, those who take up cycling are picking up a hobby that can last a lifetime. Anyone can enjoy cycling, even into retirement.
Your Carbon Footprint
Environmentally, cycling helps you reduce the carbon footprint of large cities. Individuals can check their own environmental effect by looking at an ecological footprint calculator, but on a larger scale, cities are starting to embrace cycling as a viable means of transportation. Biking to work means less carbon emissions from cars, buses, and trains in the future. Cities have noticed the uptick in commuters biking and have responded by creating designated bike lanes in city streets.
Urban developers are looking to reduce carbon emissions by starting bike-sharing programs. These programs provide bikes that anyone can rent in some of the largest cities in the country, including Divvy in Chicago, Citi Bike in New York City, and Hubway in Boston. Programs like these allow anyone to rent a bike from a public rack and use it for a designated period. Users then can return the bike to any of the various racks located around the city. Bike sharing encourages commuters and tourists alike to reduce their ecological footprint, get healthier, and enjoy more of the cities they live and work in.
Have you seen any benefits from cycling to work? Share your experiences below.
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