It’s spring, the weather is beautiful and the school year is nearing its end. Why spend this season cooped up in your car? Bicycles are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation due to its many health benefits. In honor of National Bike Day on April 19, here are five reasons you should trade four wheels for two.
- Reducing your carbon footprint. It’s common sense that bike-riding contributes to lower pollution levels, but exactly how much? A midsize car uses 68 gallons of gasoline during a 10-mile round-trip commute five days a week, which equals 0.7 tons of carbon dioxide. This would be reduced to zero if you rode your bike to campus five days a week.
- Exercise. When you’re sitting in class all day or doing homework, you’re probably not getting your recommended daily dose of aerobics. Riding a bicycle can give you plenty of cardio and a great muscle workout, in addition to more strength and stamina. While sitting in cars is a sedentary activity, biking is a healthy activity that you can incorporate into your commuting time.
- Save money. Between car insurance and gasoline, drivers can spend a pretty penny on their vehicles. With bicycles, aside from the occasional repair and tire change, you don’t have to buy insurance or gas to maintain it.
- Decreased stress levels. Do you feel like pulling your hair out whenever you sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic? This certainly causes your stress levels to increase. When you ride a bike, your anxiety and stress decreases, which leads to a calmer state of mind in general.
- Improved posture. Being on our phones and sitting most of the day causes us to crane our necks, which can lead to poor posture. When riding a bike, you must stay upright to get around safely, and this behavior in turn makes for better posture.
Biking to school is a healthier alternative to driving, and arguably a more fun one, too. If you are unsure of which routes to take to campus, Broward County Transit has a Bicycle Sustainability Map. The South Florida Education Center also has plenty of bike racks on campus. This month, dust off your old two-wheeler and get riding!