How Biking Can Save Your Health, Wallet, & the Environment
Asia/ Ohana/ Health & Wellness

World Bicycle Day: Here’s Why You Should Pedal to Your Destination Instead

World Biking Day

World Bicycle Day, which is celebrated every year on June 3, commemorates the bicycle as a healthier and eco-friendly mode of transportation.

Through a United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolution spearheaded by the Government of Turkmenistan, this special day has been recognised to promote “the uniqueness, longevity, and versatility” of the two-wheeled, pedal-driven vehicle as “a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, and environmentally sustainable means of transport.”

If you’ve been wanting to save up some buck and lead a better lifestyle, here are some reasons to convince you to bike to your destination!

1. Biking helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Biking helps you maintain a healthy weight

Biking helps you burn calories as you pedal. It’s a low-impact aerobic exercise that helps increase your metabolic rate, so you continue to burn calories even after you’ve stopped cycling. According to Harvard Health’s calories burned chart, moderate biking can burn up to 210 calories for a 125-pound person, 252 calories for a 155-pound person, and 294 calories for a 185-pound person in 30 minutes. The higher the intensity and time period, the higher you’ll burn.

2. Biking helps improve heart and lung health.

Biking helps improve heart and lung health

Biking is a good cardio workout, as it requires your heart, lungs, and muscles to work more than usual to meet your body's increased oxygen demand. Doing this regularly helps strengthen the heart muscles, which improves your heart’s ability to pump blood for better circulation and oxygen distribution throughout the body, and improves lung capacity and function.

3. Biking helps build muscle.

Biking helps build muscle

Biking is an ideal exercise for building and toning your muscles, especially in the lower body as it targets the quadriceps (front of the thighs), hamstrings (back of the thighs), glutes (buttocks), and calves. When you pedal, especially against resistance like an upward slope, your muscles exert more force, which causes micro-tears in your muscle fibres that repair and grow stronger each time.

4. Biking helps improve mental health.

Biking helps improve mental health

Biking helps reduce and manage stress by urging the body to release endorphins (stress-reducing hormones) and produce serotonin and dopamine, which boosts your mood and well-being. It also helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which is important in helping you get better sleep at night, and alleviate symptoms of depression. What’s more, thanks to the increased blood flow and oxygen to your brain, you improve your memory and cognitive brain functions as well.

5. Biking helps you save money.

Biking helps you save money

Biking can help reduce your expenses. While you’ll need to shell out money for a bike (whether it's new or secondhand) and its basic accessories, this is nothing compared to always lining up for gas, going to the mechanic for repairs and maintenance, paying for parking, and signing a monthly car insurance.

If you commute to work or school, you don’t have to worry about the rising costs of transportation. Moreover, if you have irregular working hours, biking can save you from always hailing a cab to your destination.

6. Biking helps you take better control of your life.

Biking helps you take better control of your life

Biking saves you from a lot of possible inconveniences, like waiting for public transportation (which could be delayed) and wasting time sitting in traffic or looking for a parking space. You don’t have to squish yourself in a packed train or bus during rush hour, too! Having your own mode of transportation allows you to leave home on your own time and avoid roadblocks that could make you late for work, school, or an appointment since you can slip through traffic jams.

7. Biking helps save the environment.

Biking helps save the environment

Biking helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it doesn’t burn fossil fuels. Bicycles don’t contribute to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and don’t release harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), into the air. Moreover, biking does not only ease air pollution but also eases noise pollution in densely populated areas because biking is much quieter than motor vehicles.

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