May is National Bike Month, and with the weather warming up each day, this is the perfect time to break out your bike and reinvent your commute! Here are five great reasons to do so:
It’s a fantastic workout. Biking is like a portable gym with no membership fee. Even a quick ride is enough to get your heart pumping and, because it puts very little impact on your joints, you can do it any age.
It makes you feel good. Not exactly pumped for the workweek? Biking (like other forms of exercise) will help stimulate the release of endorphins, our bodies’ own “feel-good” hormones, which will banish the blahs in no time. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the feel of an open road and the wind against your face.
You’ll score some vitamin D. Our bodies need sunshine to produce vitamin D, and spending your commute on a bike—rather than cooped up in car—is a great way to get it. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, three out of every four Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which helps ward off depression and is crucial to helping the body absorb enough calcium and phosphorous.
It’s eco-friendly and cheaper than driving. Your bike doesn’t run on oil. That’s good news for our wallets, but equally important for the environment. In one review of 2011 traffic patterns, researchers concluded that, “congestion caused urban Americans to travel 5.5 billion hours more and to purchase an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel.” This adds up to 56 billion unnecessary pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
You can whiz by rush-hour traffic. The average American commuter spends about 38 hours a year stuck in traffic. Say goodbye to stop-and-go (and keep your sanity) by riding your bike instead.