Thursday, April 28, 2011

Break Out Your Bike and Walking Shoes

Bike Laneimage by Spencer T. used under Creative Commons license

The temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and spring is in the air. It’s time for walking and biking and all the benefits they bring, including improving both the air quality and your health.

Nearly 27 percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older do not get the amount of weekly exercise that the Center for Disease Control recommends. One common excuse: “It’s too hard to find the time.” Well, Clean Air NY has the solution! If you start biking or walking to work, you will get your exercise by doing something you have to do anyway – commuting! Not only will the exercise help you live a healthier life, but choosing these alternate forms of travel over driving will improve New York’s air quality, providing additional health benefits for everyone.

Biking to work is gaining popularity, especially in New York City! The number of people commuting by bicycle has risen 109 percent in the past four years. People who commute by bike also lose an average of 13 pounds during their first year – that’s more than a pound per month just going to work every day! Bike commuter Andrew Breck says, “I find that my five-mile bike ride to work is a great opportunity to breathe fresh air and give my heart a workout in the same amount of time that it would take me to get to work sitting on the crowded subway. Commuting by bike also saves me $100 on a monthly transit pass and another $100 on a monthly gym membership.”

Walking to work can be difficult to do, especially if you do not live close to your office. Clean Air NY recommends that you incorporate walking into your daily routine in other ways to reap the health benefits. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a stroll to pick up lunch or take an evening walk with a friend for some fresh air.

The best part? Whether you choose to bike or walk to work, they are both great for you and your environment!

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