New Year’s Resolutions

A quick search on the internet and you’ll find that the most common new year’s resolutions include

  • losing weight,
  • saving money,
  • getting fit,
  • managing stress,
  • seeing new things and places.

Well, I’ve got good news for you: all of these goals are just a bike ride away! Seriously, by incorporating bicycling into your lifestyle you can attain all of your new year’s resolutions. Here’s how:

Getting fit and healthy:

Bicycling has numerous of health benefits. Here are just a few:

  • calorie burn (A 150-pound person riding 12 to 14 mph will burn over 540 calories per hour!)
  • stress release
  • improved cardiovascular fitness
  • increased strength
  • increased balance
  • increased endurance and stamina

Plus, bicycling is less stressful on the joints than running or hiking, enabling people of all ages and abilities to enjoy bicycling.

Saving money and time:

Gas, oil, insurance, maintenance, parking – owning a car is expensive!  Save money (and time) by biking to work or to run errands around town. Statistics say that owning, maintaining, insuring and driving a car costs between 20 and 30 cents per mile.  So let’s say your daily commute is 14 miles roundtrip. That means you spend $14-$21 per five-day work week, not counting parking fees. That’s $728 to $1,092 a year just to drive to work! Now add in that new set of winter tires or that new windshield, your parking fees and any driving tickets you may have accumulated…

Not to mention time. How much is your time worth? And how much time have you wasted being stuck in traffic or circling the block to find a parking spot? You could be getting your exercise, seeing new things and discovering the convenience of front row parking, just by biking to work.

Managing stress:

I’m a firm believer that any day is greatly improved once I’m on my bike, no matter how stressful it was. The sightseeing, the smells, the sounds, the wind in my face, the physical activity, whizzing past rush-hour  traffic – the ­­ mere joy of bicycling is enough to make all the worries and troubles fade away, even if it’s just for 30 minutes as I ride home from work.

Plus, being more physically active improves your sleeping pattern, makes you happy (hello, endorphins!) and rids the body of cortisol, the primary stress hormone.

Seeing new places:

Couldn’t we all use more time away from screens and more time spent outside?  For many, bicycling gives them a sense of freedom –freedom to roam, to see new place and to meet new people.

The world looks different from two wheels.  As a bicyclist you interact more with your environment, you can smell the blossoming trees or the bakery on the corner; you can hear the birds or the city bells; you feel the wind, sunshine and rain on your skin.  

Hop on a bike and head anywhere, anywhere at all, and I guarantee you that you will see things you’ve never noticed before.

Anne-Marije Rook's picture
Anne-Marije Rook