You already know that walking or biking to work is a good way to squeeze more exercise into your day.
Research has found for every 15 minutes of daily exercise, you can reduce your risk of death by an additional 4% – of the more than 400,000 study participants, those who got 30 minutes of physical activity in each day were able to add about four extra years to their life expectancy, as compared with those who were sedentary.
After a trip to work and back, you’ve probably met your daily exercise requirements, and it barely required tweaking your schedule.
Beyond the benefits of exercise, there are a number of other reasons to consider biking or walking to work, assuming the distance between where you live and work makes it a possibility. If it doesn’t – don’t assume you don’t need to read further – you can still reap benefits by parking a mile or two away and walking or biking the rest of the way.
You’ll save money
Commuting on foot or bicycle can save money a number of different ways. You won’t have to use fuel, and you know how much gas prices are these days. With less wear and tear on your car, you’ll have fewer repairs to make and you won’t have to buy new tires as often.
As your auto insurance premiums are often based on mileage, let your insurance company know that you aren’t driving to work anymore, and you’ll probably save a pretty good chunk of change that way too. If you had to pay for parking, that can be eliminated too.
Calculate all of those costs and just think about how much you could save in one year!
No more stressful traffic jams
How many times have you felt your blood begin to boil while sitting in a traffic jam? If you live in a big city where traffic often gets congested, even if you’re only driving a few miles to work, biking or walking can save a lot of stress. Chronic stress can contribute to accelerated aging, depression and weight gain.
Reducing stress, on the other hand, contributes to better health and well-being – and even a slimmer waistline. With all the calorie burning and muscle building you’re doing on top of that, you might just get into the best shape of your life.
It’s better for the environment
Walking or biking to work also helps to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Less driving means helping to improve air quality, which can reduce the instance of respiratory diseases and chronic conditions.
By walking or biking four miles round trip, you can keep roughly 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air. You don’t have to be a staunch environmentalist to appreciate that.
You’ll be more productive
Walking or biking to work will give you more energy and will put you in a better frame of mind, making you more productive and more likely to come up with creative solutions. Studies have found that physical activities like walking make people better problem solvers.
As you walk or pedal home, you’ll have time to wind down too, and put all those pressures behind you.
Plus, walking or biking can be fun – you’ll have a better chance of noticing the little things, like nature, that make life better, or even encountering interesting people along the way.
-The Alternative Daily