Obviously, you can’t live forever, but a study published yesterday in the British Medical Journal has taken the Internet by storm. If you don’t want to read the full study, you can read an abridged version here.
The study followed and tracked the health benefits gained by “active commuters” (those who walk over six miles each day or bike an average of 30 miles per week to work). The results of the study showed that regular biking to work:
- Cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%
- Reduced the incidence of cancer by 45%
- Lowered heart disease by 46%
What I found fascinating is that a portion of participants stated “cycling took no willpower once it became part of the work routine.”
What Biking to Work Has Done For Me
I started biking to work last Summer after I noticed a few of my colleagues doing it. The first few days were hard and as someone who grew up riding their bike in the country, admittedly a little scary. However, my anxiety of getting hit by a car reduced drastically when I got a mirror (yeah, I look really cool…). I also found that people driving cars, much like wild animals, are way more scared of me, than I am of them.
After the first week I noticed how alert and invigorated I felt after biking the 7 miles into the office. The ride home from work gave me a fantastic way to enjoy the weather after being cooped up and decompress after a stressful day. To top it all off, it actually took time off of my commute. Time that I would usually spend sitting in traffic getting angry at people who abuse the carpool lane or don’t understand how merging works.
Aw, Man, Is it Raining Out?
This conversation took place on a cloudy and muggy day after riding my bike into work.
Colleague: Aw, man, is it raining out?
Me: Nope, it’s just super hot out and I’m fat and sweaty.
Moral of the story, if you’re going to bike to work, bring a change of clothes because you will sweat even if you aren’t channeling your inner Lance Armstrong. I also keep a spare deodorant and towel for extra hot days.
So, bottom line of this short post is, start biking to work. It’s a great way to start and end your day work day and can drastically improve your overall health.