Biking: A Healthier and Environmentally-Friendly Alternative to Driving
In the United States, households spend an average of $7,179 per year on maintaining and driving their cars. This not only adds up to a substantial financial burden but also contributes significantly to environmental pollution. However, biking is a wonderful alternative mode of transportation that is not only more affordable than driving but also incredibly beneficial for both the body and the environment.
The Benefits of Biking
Biking is a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation, making it a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Traffic congestion in the U.S. alone wastes approximately 3.9 billion gallons of gas each year while biking is a zero-emission means of getting around. If Americans in the top metropolitan areas chose biking 50% of the time they could reduce household emissions by 6%.
Biking is also an excellent way to improve your health. Just three hours of biking per week can reduce the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke by 50%. Cycling stimulates the cardiovascular and circulatory systems, leading to a healthier and fitter body. It also helps in weight management and increases muscle tone, making it an effective low-impact workout for people of all ages.
Biking is good for mental health as well. Cycling outdoors can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It provides a sense of freedom and achievement, which boosts self-esteem and can improve your overall well-being.
Biking and the Environment
Biking is a highly sustainable mode of transportation. Choosing to bike instead of drive helps to lower carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if Americans took one fewer trip by car each week, the U.S. could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 9 million tonnes per year. Not only that, but biking also helps to reduce the effect of urban sprawl, ultimately making cities more livable.
Financial Benefits of Biking
One apparent benefit of biking is that it is much cheaper than driving. According to a 2018 NerdWallet study, biking to work instead of driving can help you save $10 a day, or $2,500 a year. Biking also requires less maintenance than driving, helping you save money on car maintenance, insurance, and gas.
Moreover, cities and communities can experience significant economic gain from the switch to more cycling-centric infrastructure. Studies have shown that investments made in biking infrastructure lead to a healthier and safer community, which translates to higher land values, retail sales, and local economic output.
It is clear that biking offers a wealth of benefits, from its convenience and affordability to its impact on the environment and overall health. If more people choose to swap driving for biking, communities can enjoy a cleaner, greener, and more livable environment, and individuals can experience a healthier, more active lifestyle. While it may not be possible for everyone to bike to work or school, incorporating cycling into your daily routine can be a small step towards a more sustainable future.