Tips and Benefits of Biking to Work

Do you often find yourself sitting in your car stuck in traffic on the way to and from work? Do you feel your level of stress build just thinking about your commute? What if there was a way to ditch that unpleasant daily task and find a better option?

This is exactly the problem that Bike to Work Week aims at. Starting on May 13, Bike to Work Week was created to highlight the many benefits of biking to work. Even if you don’t think it seems viable for you, the benefits it offers may be enough to push you to try.

So in honor of Bike to Work Week, let’s take a look at the top benefits it offers and some handy tips should you decide to give it a try.

Get a Workout In Before Your Workday Has Begun

A young stylish businessman going to work by bike.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / bbernard

Many people have good intentions of working out daily, but by the time you get home in the evening, it’s easy to make excuses. Maybe you feel exhausted from your work day, it’s “too late” to workout, or you just don’t have the motivation. Biking to work means you’ve filled your daily quota of exercise without having to carve out time in the evenings. It’s a simple and smart way to fit in a workout.

Staying active also helps to lower your risk of developing some diseases such as type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers (breast and colorectal).

Biking Will Help You Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Happy smiling young woman curly-haired contented activity road bike riding in a sports black suit.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / muse studio

Most people understand that maintaining a healthy body weight is vital to overall health and wellness. It affects so many aspects of your health, including your lifespan. But yo-yo diets are never the answer, instead, you want to be sure you’re staying active regularly.

Biking at a moderate pace, a 155-pound person can expect to burn about 596 calories per hour. Biking faster will burn even more calories.

No Need to Fight Rush Hour Traffic

Close up hipster on bike in the city at sunset
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Chetty Thomas

A huge annoyance and even stress factor in a person’s work day is the commute to and from work. Fighting traffic daily is enough to make anyone at least a little frustrated. Even if you only have a short distance to travel, traffic can make the drive much longer than you anticipate.

So why not cut the stress out of the morning commute and bike instead? Slow traffic will be a thing of the past, which also means you’ll be able to start the day on a more positive note.

Biking Can Combat Stress and Improve Your Mood

Happy smiling woman rides a bicycle on the country road under the apple blossom trees
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Soloviova Liudmyla

And speaking of stressful morning traffic, because biking is exercise it also helps to fight stress in general and boost your mood. When working out your body releases endorphins, which are known as the “feel good” hormones. Once this happens you begin to feel more calm, happier, and more relaxed. Starting and finishing your work day in this state of mind is much healthier than the opposite being true.

Find a Biking Buddy

Couple mountain biking in Slovenia.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Umomos

Just like how people find others to commute with using a car, you can also find a biking buddy. Maybe you live near a co-worker, or you have a friend who heads in the same direction and also lives nearby. A biking buddy isn’t necessary, but it can be nice company and conversation in the morning. At the very least, it gives you someone to bike with for safety reasons.

Biking Is a Great Way to Build Muscle

Man on mountain bike rides on the trail on a stormy sunset.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Maciej Kopaniecki

And speaking of physical activity, biking is a fabulous way to build muscle. Biking is classified as an aerobic activity thanks to its repetitive motion. Biking requires force and effort from you to keep pushing the peddle.

Strength training, or building muscle is important because it makes your body stronger and protects you from falling, it keeps you healthy, it aids in keeping your joints mobile and decreases the risk of injury, and it helps keep you lean.

It’s a Lot Cheaper and Greener Than Using a Car

Happy Asian young woman walk and ride bicycle in park, street city her smiling using bike of transportation, ECO friendly
Image Credit: Shutterstock / MMD Creative

With today’s high cost of living, it’s also important to highlight the cost-savings of using a bike to commute to work. Purchasing a bike is a small fraction of the cost of a car, and you don’t have to worry about the cost of gas, car insurance, parking fees, regular repairs and maintenance, and all the other costs.

Biking also means you’re choosing a greener transportation method. You are lessening your carbon footprint and you aren’t contributing to noise pollution – two very big issues.

Bring Your Work Clothes With You

Young guy in casual clothes is cycling on the road in the evening city
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Skylines

As for tips, the first one relates to clothing. Even if you’re not the type that gets sweaty easily, it’s always a good idea to bring your work clothes with you rather than wear them while biking. First, there is the comfort factor – workout clothing is always going to be more flexible and comfortable than office wear. There are also external conditions out of your control such as splashes from puddles, mud, dirt, debris, dust, and even the occasional rain.

You can invest in a lightweight water-resistant backpack that sits snugly against the bag. Look for something with sleek lines that are bulky so it doesn’t add drag while biking.

Make Sure to Wear Athletic Shoes

Woman cyclist legs riding Mountain Bike on highway
Image Credit: Shutterstock / lzf

And speaking of bike-appropriate clothing, it’s also important to wear athletic shoes. These allow for the best grip of the pedals so you don’t have to worry about your feet slipping off. A good tip is to leave your work shoes at work daily so you don’t have to bring them back and forth. A basic pair of black or brown shoes will go with any outfit you wear at work.

Visit Your Local Bike Shop for the Initial Purchase and Any Repairs

Cute Caucasian female worker holding and repairing bicycle wheel while standing in bicycle workshop.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dusan Petkovic

As for where to get a bike that is ideal for your work commute, it’s a good idea to visit your local bike shop. These tend to have a great selection of good quality bikes at various price points. The sales reps can also make suggestions based on what kind of surface you’ll be biking on, the speed you’ll be biking, and how far your commute is.

If you already have a good bike but it needs a tune-up or repairs, again the local bike shop can help. They will know exactly what’s needed, making the repair quick and simple. You don’t want to risk doing it yourself and then potentially damaging the bike.

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