Making The Switch: Why You Should Leave The Car At Home In 2020

why switch car commute cycling to work

If you’re looking to make positive changes to your life, the New Year is the perfect time to do it. Whether you’re hoping to lose a few pounds, be kinder to the environment, or improve your overall health and fitness, there are small steps you can take to put you one step closer to your goal. Leaving the car at home and cycling to work can improve your mental and physical health, as well as reducing your carbon footprint. In addition, you’re likely to save a bit of money on gas! In this article, Leisure Lakes Bikes, supplier of full suspension mountain bikes, discuss the best reasons to make the switch and leave the car at home in 2020! 

Why Switching Is Good For Your Health 

Firstly, cycling to work has obvious physical benefits when compared to sitting in the car on the way to work. 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 illnesses. 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 % lower risk than non-cyclists for cardiovascular illnesses, but they also had a lower BMI on average. As well as this, using the bike regularly can give your mood a boost. 

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. 

A Cost-Effective Option 

Perhaps you’d like to lose a few pounds from your waist whilst saving a few for your wallet! 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. 

We interviewed one cyclist who reported savings £6 per day on his commute since he made the switch to cycling – that’s on a trip of 15 miles each way. So, on average he saves £30 a week and £1,150 a year! Even a few pounds saved each 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. 

You do have to take the initial cost of the bike into consideration when working out your finances. 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 road or mountain 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. 

Be Kinder To The Environment 

We all have to start doing our bit to help the environment, and every effort is worthwhile, however big or small. Unfortunately, driving is still most Europeans’ transport method of choice — at great cost to the environment. 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. When combining this output with the output CO2 from each kilometre actually driven, the total comes to around 271g CO2 per kilometre. 

We also have to consider eco-friendly bikes. Contrary to popular belief, a bike isn’t completely carbon neutral, as we have to take into account the energy used in production. 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’s obvious that cycling has numerous benefits that driving just can’t compete with. 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?

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