Published on April 7th, 2013 | by James Ayre1
Want Health? Bike To Work, Skip The Gym (Sort Of)
Bike commuting is one of the most effective ways to promote general healthy, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That’s not a surprise of course, as anyone who spends a lot of time bicycling knows. And of course bicycling has another significant advantage over many other types of exercise, you don’t have to set apart any extra time, you simply bicycle rather than taking the car.
The new research found that those that commute by car, even when otherwise very active, gained more weight on average than those that commute by bike. There are some outliers to this of course, but the general trend is clear, commuting by bike rather than car leads to the maintenance of a healthier body.
Lead author of the study, Australian epidemiologist Takemi Sugiyama, states: “Commuting is a relevant health behavior even for those who are sufficiently active in their leisure time.”
Good news for those that find repetitive exercises done in a gym to be very boring.
Many modern people live lives that are already crammed full of obligations and hobbies, and may not have the time to get the amount of exercise necessary for good health. But very often they do have the time available to make the simple switch over from driving to bicycling. And as this study shows, that can have a profound effect on many people’s lives.
As Grist notes: “An earlier study by researchers at the University of Sydney School of Public Health published in Obesity Reviews (the journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity) supports the thesis that leisure-time exercise alone is not enough to prevent obesity. Sixty to 90 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to curb obesity, which is more time than most people can fit into their busy schedules. That’s why the study’s authors recommend ‘active transport’ like biking and walking for commuting other common trips.”
And a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology found a clear link between physical forms of commuting, such as bicycling and running, and increased cardiovascular health.
So, keep biking.