Want another reason to ride your bike to work? In addition to being more fun than sitting in traffic, cycling or walking to work every day can help you lose weight, and is an excellent way to stay active when you don’t have time to make it to the gym during the week.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week to improve your overall health and to reduce your risk for many chronic diseases. If your active commute is just 15 minutes each way, you can meet the CDC’s recommendation simply by switching from driving to cycling or walking to work. According to a study reported in the Wall Street Journal, people who made the switch lost more than two pounds over two years on average, and people with longer commutes (30 minutes or more) lost more than 15 pounds over two years on average.
Additionally, many studies have indicated that regular physical activity has positive mental health benefits, and that people who ride or walk to work have lower levels of stress and are able to focus better throughout the day. Regular exercise may also help you sleep better, and getting enough sleep is an important part of a healthy routine that can help you maintain or lose weight.
So, if you want to drop a few extra pounds but don’t have time for more training rides, or you find your energy lagging during the day and want to increase your productivity and boost your mood at work, give commuting by bike a try. The DC area has miles and miles of bike lanes and car-free trails, and organizations such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association have fantastic resources to help you plan your route.
Get fit, stay healthy, and enjoy the ride!