How to make every day ‘Bike to Work’ day
So you gave “Bike to Work” day a try this spring and kinda’ digged it? Mother Earth loved you for cycling to work, too. And your wallet is giving you high-fives.
If you are considering making every day “Bike to Work” day (or at least you want to give it a go a few days a week), here are a few benefits to help persuade you: You’ll save on gas, you won’t get stuck in traffic and, by being active, you’ll offset some of the sedentary time you spend at your desk.
Here are 4 tips for the commuter who is considering biking to work as a morning routine:
- Calculate how many calories you burn. This free, online calculator will ask you about how many miles you cycled, your weight and your average speed. An added feature? Input the type of car you drive and it will tell you how much gas money you saved and how many toxic emissions you spared Mother Earth. We gave it a try: A person who weighs between 145 and 174 pounds, who rides their bike 5 miles to work at an average speed of about 12 – 14 miles per hour burns 215 calories. If this person has a mid-size car, they save about $2.63 by not driving and keep 4.9 pounds of toxic emissions from going out into the Earth.
- Wear the right gear: You’ll absolutely need a helmet to protect your noggin. If you’ve got a short commute (and you’re not wearing a pencil skirt) you can probably get away with wearing your work clothes on the bike. Maybe try rolling up your pant legs if they get gobbled up by your gear chains. If you’re riding in the dark or in the rain, opt for bright clothing so you’re seen by motorists. If you’ve got a commute that’s longer than, say, a half hour or so, consider wearing bike shorts and changing when you get to work. Find bike locks, lights, cycling gloves and shorts at REI and earn 3 percent cash back through ShopAtHome.com.
- Freshen up before you settle in to your desk: You don’t have to take a full-on shower. (Really, who wants to shower at work?) But, carry a little bag so you can freshen up before you get working. Your co-workers will appreciate it. Carry a travel-size deodorant to swab on and a gym towel to whisk away any beads of sweat. Save on toiletries and travel bags with cash-back and coupons at Walgreens.
- Make it do-able: Before you just jump into the routine, make sure it’s something that works with your schedule. Perhaps carpool in with a co-worker in the morning and ride your bike home if you have more time in the evenings. If you’ve got a commute, consider taking a bus halfway there, get off on a stop and pedal yourself the rest of the way into work. If biking to work is just impossible for you, consider keeping a bike locked up at work and taking it for a spin during your lunch break to torch some calories.
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