Cycling is one of those activities I have always loved. I have sparse memories of being very young, learning how to ride a bike. After that I was hooked. I remember riding my bike to swimming lessons, to friend’s houses, and even to school. It was an activity that I loved and I grew up loving because of my mom. As I got older, riding my bike fell by the wayside. High school started, I was increasingly busy with after school sports, friends, and the usual teenager things. As college came, it was the same story. I didn’t live at home and school was way farther than I wanted to bike.
That being said, I am now 25, have a full time job as well as play soccer and other recreational sports in the summer, and I have zero time to ride my bike.
That’s the attitude I had when my fiancé and I moved into our new home. It seemed like every second I had was over taken by another minuscule task. However, once we were settled in, all the boxes unpacked, I realized how close I actually was to my work; 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) to be exact. Now, what was I complaining about? I then realized that I was just making excuses for myself.
So, I began to make cycling a priority. Not only for my fitness goals, but also for the money saving aspect that the mode of transportation has. On days when I knew I didn’t have to leave the office, I rode my bike to and from work. It is a wonderful ride and I am lucky enough to live right beside the beautiful river valley of Edmonton, Alberta. As hard as the first day was, it was also very rewarding. When you come across a hill, you realize the horrible shape you are in, but you get your heart pumping, your adrenaline rushing, and it’s not hard to understand why people love it.
Fast forward a few months and I’ve been riding my bike whenever I can! There really is nothing but pros for riding your bike, whether it’s to work, to the store or to a friend’s house.
Here are a few things you can look forward to:
It tones your body, top to bottom – The thing with cycling is that it’s full body workout. It takes an insane amount of cardio as well as toning your upper body to balance yourself on the bike as well as lower body to create the power to move you forward.
It boosts your energy levels – Cycling triggers your brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine during exercise, which is in turn linked to energy levels. If you think coffee does the trick in the mornings, try riding your bike to work!
It’s a great way to care for your joints – At the end of the day, most exercises are hard on your joints and body. Any contact sport, such as rugby, soccer or football, as well as other physical activities such as running are extremely hard on your joints. Your body takes a hit when it is colliding with other bodies or hitting the hard pavement. With cycling, your body doesn’t have your weight working against it. Because you are sitting, you don’t put a lot of weight on any of your joints, and your body is able to exercise without putting that pressure on your body.
It saves you money – It has been proven time and time again that riding your bike to work or for errands saves you a ton of money over driving your car. Driving a vehicle is one of the biggest expenses most people incur. So, why not save money and get in shape as well? For me, when I was riding my bike to work almost every day, I went from buying gas once every two weeks to buying gas only once a month. It allows you to save money on the maintenance of your vehicle as well.
Overall, cycling has allowed me to open up a part of my life that I didn’t think could happen. I am happier, healthier, and am saving more money than ever before. It has given me an opportunity to improve my life in so many ways; I challenge all readers to do the same.
What about you? Do you cycle to work or school? How has it impacted your life or finances?