Be Healthy and Happy! Ride a Bike!
Using a bicycle for transportation to and from school, work, the store or your favorite restaurant is a great way to be healthy, save money, and help the environment.
Did you know a 30 minute round trip bicycle commute is associated with better mental health in men and reduces the risk of breast cancer in women? Riding just 24 minutes a day on average will reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes by 14%. How can it affect obesity? Well, bicycle commuting burns an average of 540 calories per hour. That’s approximately one McDonald’s’ Big Mac…gone!
Other than increased exercise, more people riding bicycles has other health benefits for society as a whole through improved environmental conditions. Automobiles burn fossil fuels which creates carbon dioxide. More carbon dioxide is emitted by the United States’ transportation sector than any other nation’s entire economy, except for China. We are creating carbon dioxide faster than the plants and trees, we have left, can soak it up. This leads to dangerous greenhouse gases that affect our climate and our respiratory health. If we increase the mode share of all trips made by bicycling and walking by 3% this would lead to fuel saving of 3.8 billion gallons a year and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 million tons per year. This is the equivalent to replacing 19 million conventional cars with hybrids.
The average American household spends an entire three months’ pay on transportation. Cars are being used for 75% of trips under one mile, a distance easily biked or walked. The cost of owning and operating a vehicle is about 60 cents a mile. The average American drives 12000 miles in one year. If 75% of those miles are under 1 mile that’s 9000 bike-able miles which adds up to $5400 per year.
So every time you are getting ready to go somewhere this Spring-Fall, stop for just a second and think about whether or not you could make that trip using a bicycle and protect yourself and our planet!