If you’re worried about your bank balance, your exercise routine, or the environment, you can tackle all three by switching from car to bicycle in 2020! Making an effort to cycle to work and leaving the car at home more often will make a huge difference to both your physical and mental health, so why not give it a try? If you need a bit of extra motivation, you should know that compared to cars, bicycles have an almost non-existent environmental impact. Let’s take a closer look at why you should switch from car to bicycle this New Year.
It’s better for your health
When it comes to your physical health, cycling has some great benefits. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, then cycling is a fantastic (and free) alternative that you can easily fit into your daily routine. According to a meta-analysis published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine cycling can dramatically reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study accounted for both people who cycled for sport and people who used a bike for their daily commute. Not only did this analysis conclude that cyclists have a 22 per cent lower risk than non-cyclists for cardiovascular disease, but they also had a lower BMI on average.
As well as the physical benefits, cycling can also improve your mental health. As well as the fact that cycling gets you outdoors, and allows you to release endorphins, this form of exercise has also been proven to drastically reduce stress.
It will reduce CO2
Environmental concerns will be at the forefront of global issues in 2020. Whether you’re recycling your plastics, drinking from a reusable coffee cup, or have started to grow your own veg, every little bit of effort can make a difference. Leaving the car at home is one of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
Driving is extremely harmful to the environment, but most people in Europe still favour it as their main method of transport. Not only do cars produce huge amounts of CO2, but the initial production of a car is far more environmentally damaging than that of a bike. According to calculations from ECF, the production of a car alone accounts for 42g of CO2 emissions per kilometre driven. When combining this output with the output CO2 from each kilometre actually driven, the total comes to around 271g CO2 per kilometre.
We should also consider eco-efficient bikes, such as electric mountain bikes. Contrary to popular belief, a bike isn’t completely carbon neutral, as we have to take the energy used in production into account. However, this small output is minimal compared to that of a car. Taking production into account, a bike is accountable for 5g of CO2 per kilometre — miniscule in comparison!
It will save you money
If you’re keen on getting fit and active, why not do it in a cost-effective way? Driving to work each day can be truly damaging to your bank account. Not only is there the initial price of the car, but the maintenance, road tax, and fuel costs all add up, resulting in a needlessly expensive method of commuting. Switching out your car for a bike can reduce these costs tenfold.
One keen cyclist told us that he has saved £6 per day on fuel costs since switching to cycling for his 30-mile round commute. So, on average he saves £30 a week and £1,150 a year! Even a few pounds saved a day can make a huge difference, and when you pair this with the health benefits and the environmental pros, the positive points really stack up.
Of course, there is the initial cost of a bike to consider. Luckily, many employers engage with the “cycle to work” scheme which could save you a lot of money if your looking to purchase a new bike. As a result of making monthly salary sacrifices, this scheme will allow you to purchase a bike tax-free, saving up to 42 per cent of the over all value.
Overall, it is clear that the benefits of cycling dwarf those of driving. It may be difficult to force yourself out of bed a little earlier for the sake of exercise, but your health, your wallet, and the environment will all benefit from it! Why not give it a try in 2020?
We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Leisure Lakes Bikes. For more features, please pay a visit to our lifestyle page.