A Quick Fix for More Well-Being
The link between happiness and exercise is undisputable, based on countless scientific studies and nearly universal personal anecdotes. Every human has experienced the endorphin rush of strenuous physical activity, our body’s way of saying, “This is good stuff, make sure to do it again,” and DailyHap has covered the incredible happiness and health benefits of exercise many, many times (Get Excited by Physical Activity; Got a Cold Here’s a Trick to Feel Better Fast; Exercise as 2nd Medication for People with Depression; Do Your TLCs Need Some TLC?).
Yet there are still many able-bodied people around the world who can’t seem to work in a work out. Technology like the Internet and laptops, the trend towards telecommuting and working from home, social media, increasing wealth, and transportation infrastructure have provided so many benefits but they also keep average human beings more sedentary than our species has ever been.
What can we do? How can we add more physical activity into our busy lives? One simple solution is to bike more.
Bike to work, bike to school, bike to church, bike to the bars. Cities around the world are improving their bike infrastructure, making it safer and easier than ever. More and more workplaces have showers, and new fold up bikes make it easier to hitch a ride from a friend on the way in to work and bike your way home (where no one will mind if you are a sweaty mess). You could even buy the bike together and take turns.
Our challenge to you: replace one car trip a week with a bike ride instead—to work, to the grocery store, to a boyfriend’s house. See if you can keep it up for six weeks. Report back.
There are tradeoffs, but you might be surprised at how overblown these are in your mind. You might be caught off guard by how good it feels. American cities are spread out, but you might be shocked at how easy it is to bike around. You might save money on gas, you might make new friends, and you are likely to arrive at your destination with a bigger smile.
Any other bikers out? Any converts? What advice do you have for newbies? What have you found most rewarding?