May 24, 2016 | We are nearing the end of National Bike Month and we thought this was a good opportunity to talk about cycling in St. Joseph and its impact on the health of our communities.
The goal of National Bike Month is to showcase the benefits of bicycling and encourage St. Joseph and Northwest Missourians along with the rest of the United States to give biking a try.
First let’s talk about the problems with our current commute. On average American’s commute to work is close to 30 minutes each way. A commute for individuals in St. Joseph is probably more around 15 to 20 minutes each way. That totals around 30 minutes a day driving to and from work or about 120 hours a year commuting. The impact to your mental and physical health is surprising. Here are a few of the effects of driving for your commute:
Blood sugar rises
high blood glucose levels can lead to pre-diabetes/diabetes.
Cholesterol is higher
warning sign for heart disease.
Depression risk rises
higher risk for depression, anxiety and social isolation
higher levels of stress
Decline in happiness
increased risk for depression
Blood pressure spikes
increased risk for heart disease
Cardiovascular fitness drops
cardiovascular fitness is crucial for a healthy heart
increased risk for heart disease and depression
The good news is we have the ability to change our habits, especially during a month when there is an increase in the number of individuals biking in St. Joseph.
Missourians actually have seen an increase in the past several years in bicycling, a 70% plus increase in biking in the state. This is great news for the health of St. Joseph and Missourians. There are significant health benefits in biking for your commute.
Biking to work for your commute is great for your health. You burn calories and it’s easier on your joints than running.
Biking to work can easily save you money. You can see an average yearly cost savings of around $7,000.
Daily exercise can reduce stress, reduce symptoms of depression and improve your sleep.
Biking an exercise in general can prevent cognitive decline and sharpen your memory and learning.
Get out there and take advantage of National Bike Month. Make sure you visit with your primary care provider before starting any kind of exercise program. We’re here to listen, it’s your life and we want to be a part of it.