I have a good friend who is a physician. A few years back I mentioned to him a study that showed a 20-percent reduction in prostate cancer among men who drink a lot of coffee. His response stuck with me. He said, “If I could develop a medicine with a proven 20-percent efficacy rate, I’d be rich.”
So when I came across a study about something linked to an almost 50-percent reduction in the rate of heart disease and cancer, I was immediately interested. What is this new miracle drug? What fantastic new advance in medicine could make such a huge breakthrough?
It was commuting to work. On a bike.
Yep, there you go, there’s your miracle drug, the thing you can do that could be more effective than most drugs out there. Bike to work. And not even that far. Thirty miles a week, total. Do more and get even more benefits.
Let that sink in a bit.
Results of the study suggest that you could literally cut your chance in half of dying of cancer or heart disease if you bike to work. Sound crazy, but friends, we have scientific evidence.
Why, you might ask? Well, turns out those scientist are some smart folks. They figured one of the main reasons cycling to work can have such a dramatic impact on your health is consistency: If you make a habit of riding your bike to work, you won’t have to talk yourself into getting on it. They wrote, “You need to get to work every day so if you built cycling into the day it essentially takes willpower out of the equation.”
This is something I’ve found to be so true. If I have to choose between Netflix and a beer or going to the gym, well, let’s just say option #1 wins most of the time. But once I get in the routine of commuting, take the “will I ride or will I drive” out of the equation, cycling wins in almost all but the most extreme situations.
And those of us living in NWA have such an incredible system of trails, a vibrant cycling community and great bike shops, there really is no excuse.
Let’s consider it another way. What is the cost, to your health, of NOT commuting by cycle? How much might your risk of cancer and heart disease increase?