This is why you should leave the car at home – and use a bike instead!

We can all get concerned about various aspects in life, such as our fitness, how much money we have, and even the environment in which we live in. If you do this, you should consider a new form of transport and get a bike! Stopping using your car will can make a big difference to how you are feeling day in day out! Did you know that cycling to work can have a better impact on your physical and mental health? Not forgetting the fact that cycling is a much cheaper form of exercise which will save you time as well as making you feel fantastic. Still looking for motivation to swap your four wheels for two? The environmental impact of cycling is almost non-existent, compared to cars with heavy-CO2. Here are just some of the reasons why you should say goodbye to the car this new year.

Benefits for your health

The physical benefits of cycling as opposed to driving to work are greater as you will be aware. 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.

Cycling is excellent in helping with your mental wellbeing. For example, cycling gets you out of the house and into the outdoors, and allows you to release endorphins, this has been proven to dramatically decrease stress. 

A cheaper mode of transport

If you want to get fit and active, you could do it in a very 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 bicycle lover said that he has saved £6 per day on petrol costs since opting to cycle for his 30-mile round journey to work. 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 help.

However, like most things, 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 you’re looking to purchase a new road or electric 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 overall value.

Better for our environment

Finally, we have to think of the environment in which we live in every day. Driving is still, sadly, most Europeans’ favourite transport method — this puts a 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.

Of course, we do have the eco-friendly bike. Although some may say different, a bike isn’t completely carbon neutral, as the energy used in production has to be thought about. 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!

As you will have read, the benefits of cycling outnumber those of being on the roads. It may be difficult to change your morning routine and get up a little earlier for the sake of exercise, but your health, your wallet, and the environment will all benefit from it. So why not give it a try it on this new year?