Health Benefits of Commuting by Bike

22
Feb
2012

Bicycle commuting seems to be a hot topic in city culture these days, and it’s so great to see more people moving in this direction.  The benefits are endless, and things like improved health and affordable medical insurance are just the tip of the iceberg.  If you are interested in how to start commuting by bike, or the benefits associated with it, then keep on reading.

Tips to Start:

You don’t essentially need a special commuting bike, you just need one with good tires and a sturdy frame. However, you should try to get a bike that has a rear rack and panniers if possible. The actual bike riding isn’t that difficult, but there are some things to be aware of and consider.

First, you likely won’t want to commute with your work uniform or suit on.  It might rain, there may be dirt or mud on the road, and you will probably sweat.  Instead, put it in the rear rack.  A backpack can also be used, but if it’s not a waterproof pack the sweat might extend through your back and into the bag.  Also, be sure you have a rain jacket ready, just in case it starts pouring. When you do go out, wear comfortable clothes that allow easy movement.  If it’s in your budget, you can also get cycling commuter type shoes such as those made by Chrome.

If this is your first time cycling in years, consider letting go of the car slowly.  Build up your endurance by commuting a couple of days a week and then moving towards letting go of the car.

Health Benefits:

Aside from the benefits of improving your health and strengthening our muscles, there are many other long-term benefits of commuting by bike.  People who actively commute often have a 50% lower chance of getting heart disease.  Cycling is also able to improve and lower stress.

If you actively cycle for about 30 minutes, you can lose about 11 pounds a year.  How about that?  This is just the calories burned.  Since you also gain muscle, you will burn more calories at rest as your body increases it’s lean muscle mass.  Also, if you cannot perform rigorous exercise, cycling is a great option because it can be done at the speed and level you feel comfortable with.

Financial Benefits:

Not only is cycling good for your health, but it is also a great way to improve your financial health as well.  If you are looking for individual health insurance plans, or any type of affordable medical insurance, being in shape and regularly cycling can be beneficial. People who are in shape get lower premiums because they are at lower risk for disease and health conditions.

Not only that, owning and using a car is becoming more and more expensive. Registration, gas, insurance, parking, license, maintenance and many other things can really add up.  Even reducing your gas bill by $20 per week (which is not a lot of gas these days) can save you over $1,000 a year.

There is no need to convince people that commuting by bike has a huge amount of benefits.  If the idea of improved health, lowered stress, better insurance premiums and fewer car costs gets you excited, take a closer look at becoming commuter.  Talk to other people who do it, search for articles and resources online, and speak with your company about what they can do to make commuting easier for you to implement into your lifestyle.

Once you wrap your head around it and begin, you’ll soon find out just how fun it is once your body gets used to it.  See you out on the road.

Enjoy Your Ride
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7 Responses to “ Health Benefits of Commuting by Bike ”

  1. Shawn McAfee on February 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Man, bicycle commuting is something that I would love to do. Unfortunately my commute is 40 miles 1 way. One day though I will make it happen.

  2. Alex on February 23, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I have a long commute, but I started commuting with a folding bike. I drive part of the way to work and then ride the rest. Not optimal, I know, but a lot better than no riding at all. I always feel so good in the morning when I arrive at work from my ride.

  3. Roger on February 23, 2012 at 8:29 am

    There is no denying the benefits of commuting and health benefits are one of the best reasons to ride a bike.  It’s great to see you promoting a healthy lifestyle and pushing to get more people riding bikes.  Keep it up.

  4. Riaan Coetzee on February 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Awesome article once again. Started bike commuting late last year, and love it to bits. I try and cycle to work and back every day.

    For the time being, I’m putting the money I would have spent on gas in a savings account – I would like to get a decent bike later this year. I worked out how much moola I spent on gas (to be fair, I should have figured other running costs as well, but I don’t want to kill my cash flow) every day, and when I stop my bicycle at the office, second thing I do (after logging my miles on Dailymile) is transfer that amount from cheque to savings :) So far, so good!

  5. Mike Neifert on February 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Started bicycle commuting when I moved to a new town where my office was further away. Before I knew it I was doing almost all my errands by bike. It’s a great way to get around. I still don’t have good rain gear, so when it’s wet out, I drive.

  6. PedalmanTO on February 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I’m all about getting more people commuting by bike. I’ve worked with a number of my staff and friends to help them find the best routes and things to watch for. They are are regular year round commuters!!!!!!
    If any LTB readers in the Toronto area would like some help figuring out their daily commute or someone to ride with for awhile until they get comfortable, I’m more than happy to give you a hand.
    Let’s Keep the Rubber Side Down!

  7. Joel Phillips on February 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I started riding my bike to the supermarket, amazing how much crap you don’t buy when you have a 2-1/2 mile uphill ride home…..

    On the money again amigo, Happy Riding…

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