Page 3474 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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pollution, which affects our health and the health of the planet. Human powered bicycles are not reliant on fossil fuels and do not add this pollution to the atmosphere. With the typical passenger vehicle emitting about five tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from burning fuel, bicycling cuts back on fuel consumption and hence climate change. There is also less noise, the clammer that cars make creates noise pollution which causes physical and mental health problems for people. Replacing noisy vehicles with quiet bikes results in less engine noise and less traffic congestion, both of which support a healthier environment.

The effects of climate change—bushfires, droughts and more severe impacts—pose risks to present and future generations. With transportation one of the leading causes of increases in greenhouses gases in the atmosphere that produce the warming effect fuelling these extreme events, riding a bike is a legitimate climate solution. A moderate increase in bicycling each year could save six to 14 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Rising concentrations of CO2 at unsustainable levels results in increased warming that harms our planet.

It is as clear as a good air quality day is that every trip on two wheels, not behind the wheel, benefits the environment. Not only is riding a bike the greener alternative, it is also better for your health. The exercise you get from riding a bike can go a long way towards improving your health and wellbeing. Riding is a low impact aerobic activity that can be incorporated into your daily life, making it one of the easiest ways to get healthy. A physically active lifestyle achievable by using a bike is beneficial in the following ways. Firstly, it strengthens your immune system. Your immune system is a complex network that protects your body from foreign invaders that cause infection, illness and disease. Regular moderate exercise such as riding your bike makes this large network function even better. Another benefit of consistent physical activity is decreasing inflammation in the body, which in turn can also improve your immunity. It also improves the cardiovascular system. Moving your body whilst riding the bike stimulates and improves your heart, your lungs and your circulation. It also builds muscle particularly building in the upper and lower body areas.

Not to be ignored is the improvement to mental wellbeing. Cycling high is a real thing. Bike riders get a hit of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers that also trigger a positive feeling. What better way is there to feel after you have been on a ride when you come into work in the morning. It also boosts your brain powers. Bicycling has been linked to improved cognitive abilities. Physical activity can also improve brain functions like memory and even creative thinking. It can decrease your stress levels.

Biking reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol, helping you feel more relaxed. Physical activity helps mitigate the negative effects of stress on the mind and body. It also increases the level of energy which you have about you every day. It also improves your stamina. Finally, it enables you to be able to sleep better because moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as riding a bike, can help deepen your sleep and improve your sleep quality.

Therefore, if there is any change which I would recommend in order to be able to address both the climate change and the impacts that climate change has on health, I would say: get on your bike.

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