“Why would I ride a bicycle, if I can afford a car?” seems to be a pretty common logic within India where the bicycle as a mode of transport is often perceived to be at the very bottom of the “hierarchy of vehicles.” A car offers speed, safety, and comfort; it is a luxury, yet we dare say a bicycle offers so much more. So, here we are to make you aware and also to let you know that cycling is better than driving!
10 Reasons Why Cycling is Better than Driving
First and foremost come the most obvious benefits of ditching a car for your bicycle; you’re being active. Cycling is not only a great cardiovascular workout because it gets your limbs moving, lungs working and hence heart pumping but it also, over time, improves your balance and agility.
2. Body Shape
Sitting still for long periods at a desk is not uncommon and sometimes even unavoidable, especially when working full hours in an office or studying. Muscles that aren’t frequently used start to weaken; opting for a bicycle to get around offers a change in posture (as driving a car is again sitting) and engages the muscles in our lower body that are neglected during the day while also strengthening your core muscles keeping you toned and “in shape”.
3. Increase Vitamin D Levels
Surprisingly it is quite common in India to lack vitamin D, which could be considered ironic as India has such a sunny climate. But that may be the exact reason behind it, the sun is too hot, too bright and always out – so we avoid it, sheltered in our homes, offices, and cars. A few minutes on a bicycle a day will directly increase your vitamin D levels and also keep your bones, hair, and skin healthy.
4. Mental health
Keeping your brain fit is just as important as taking care of your body. Cycling is a physical activity, and as with any other sport, the improved blood circulation to the brain and body results in the release of endorphins, hormones that noticeably improves your mood and mental health.
Cycling develops your concentration skills. Unlike in a car you can’t (or really shouldn’t) get distracted by music, the radio, another person or your phone – you have to focus on your surroundings. You’re engaged in the activity you’re doing, lengthening your concentration span and that can be translated into any aspect of your life including work, education or even family.
6. Skip Traffic
Coming from Pune, we’ve all been caught up in traffic. If wherever you need to go is only a short distance away – considering cows, stray dogs, pedestrians and larger vehicles causing said traffic, you’d probably end up getting to your destination quite a bit faster using a bicycle and being able to avoid such obstacles than in any other vehicle. However, hitting the busy roads of this city could be a daunting task.In such scenario cycling is better than driving.Read up on 6 Skills to Survive Urban Cycling for some things to keep in mind.
7. Parking Space
A common worry to cross off your list would be parking. Get yourself a bicycle lock, find some shade, and you’ve got a parking space.
By leaving your car at home and hopping on a bicycle you’re not only doing yourself a favor, but also everyone and everything around you. Unlike a motorized vehicle, a bicycle doesn’t need any fuel to run on nor does it emit any exhaust fumes that would harm the environment. So it’s definitely a sustainable solution to getting around.
Along with saving on your portion of pollution, you’re also saving on parking fees, vehicle repair and/or maintenance as well as, most importantly, the cost of fuel. (Possibly even a gym membership, who knows.)
10. Positive influence
Lastly, you getting on your bicycle might just be the reason someone else decides to get on theirs. You’re being a positive influence on your community possibly even motivating others to join in, increasing the beneficial effects cycling has on the environment as well as the body.
In the long term, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, so try it out . Start a trend!
If you don’t yet trust yourself to get from place to place on time, why not start recreational cycling to polish your skills?Let us also know your thoughts on whether cycling is better than driving in the comments below!
Also read: How To Start Recreational Cycling.
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