After making the decision to switch to a healthy lifestyle, I have been constantly searching for ways to make better health choices. I spend much of my day in the car, whether it’s commuting to and from work, going to the store or picking up my kids from practice. All that sedentary time adds up, so I began searching for some alternatives. What did I find? A bike sharing program. I had never really thought of bike sharing as a form of transportation but decided to give it a try on some of my shorter routes.
Who is Bike Sharing?
Big cities like Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Miami have already implemented bike sharing programs. New York City began bike sharing in May, and members had taken more than 6,000 rides before the end of the first afternoon! Austin’s plan is in the works. Thousands of bike sharing stations have already popped up around the U.S., and Europe is far ahead of the rest of the world. Check out this bike sharing map to see programs across the globe.
Health Benefits of Bike Sharing
Biking sharing offers a low-impact option for a good cardiovascular workout, and it helps burn fat at an aerobic level. Biking is easier on your joints than some exercises like running or basketball. It also builds muscle and tones your thighs, calves and glutes. With ⅔ of Americans affected by obesity, participating in a bike sharing program just a few times per week is a great way to introduce a weight-loss plan into your life.
Environmental Benefits of Bike Sharing
Road congestion, parking and traffic safety problems can dramatically decrease by participating in bike sharing programs even for just an hour or two every day. Vehicle emissions such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide contribute to global warming and destroy the ozone layer. Driving a mid-size vehicle approximately 20 miles per day releases 5.1 tons of CO2 every year! Participating in bike sharing can drastically reduce your carbon footprint.
If your small town or city doesn’t offer a bike sharing program, why not suggest it at your next city hall meeting? The benefits of bike sharing are endless. Be sure to check out our post about biking and its benefits, and visit your local TITLE Boxing Club for another effective weight-loss option.