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The Benefits of Biking to Work

The Health Benefits of Biking to Work

Did you know May 13th-May 17th is National Bike to Work Week?

Bike to Work Week is sponsored by The League of American Bicyclists whose mission is:

To promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

Why Bike?

The benefits of biking are endless. According to People For Bikes, biking improves physical health, community health and environmental health.

  • Biking is the second most popular outdoor activity in the U.S.
  • 47% of Americans say they would like more bike facilities in their communities
  • Just three hours of biking a week reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%
  • Women who bike more than 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer
  • Adolescents who bike are 48% less likely to be overweight as adults
  • On a round-trip commute of 10 miles, bicyclists save about $10 per day in gasoline costs

Improve your Health

Biking is one of the best activities you can do to improve your health.

  • Biking improves cardiovascular health and fitness and can help decrease your risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Biking improves your muscle tone; especially in the lower half of your body. Biking is also low-impact on your joints which makes it great for those with leg or hip problems.
  • Biking can help keep your weight in check. Biking burns many calories and can also help boost your metabolism, even after you’ve finished your ride.
  • Riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health and can help strengthen your immune system.

Rules of the Road

Make sure whether you are biking to work or biking for leisure that you always follow the “rules of the road.”

  1. Follow the Law. Obey all traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic and always use the rightmost lane.
  2. Be Predictable. Make your intentions clear to those around you. Signal your turns and check around you before switching lanes.
  3. Be Conspicuous. Ride where drivers can see you and wear bright or reflective clothing. If you’re riding at night or when visibility is poor, make sure you have a light and reflectors.
  4. Think Ahead. Anticipate what those around you will do. Watch for debris, potholes and other potential hazards in the road.
  5. Ride Ready. Check your tires, brakes, chains and all levers. Carry repair and emergency equipment and always wear a helmet.
  6. Keep Your Cool. Road rage always makes a bad situation worse.

If you live in an area where it’s just not possible to bike to work, try biking instead of driving while doing errands.

Friday, May 17th is Bike to Work Day. Do you plan on participating?

 

References:

http://news.discovery.com/adventure/the-top-7-health-benefits-of-cycling.htm

http://www.peopleforbikes.org/pages/benefits_of_biking

http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bicyclefriendlyamerica/index_about.php

http://www.bikeleague.org/resources/better/roadrules.php

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