7 Reasons to Bike instead of Drive

7 Reasons to Bike instead of Drive

It has more benefits than you may realize.
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Driving to and from places certainly has its benefits; it's fast, you can travel long distances, and it's generally a comfortable experience. However, there are quite a few benefits of choosing to ride a bike rather than driving. Now, I'm not suggesting that you ride your bike on your family's cross-country road trip in January; that's pretty insane. I'm more so talking about small-scale trips, like biking to class or work rather than driving there. Here are just some of the benefits of taking a bike instead of a car!

1. You save money on gas.

In any economy, especially with the fluctuating gas prices, paying for gas is not something that most people love. It can get expensive fairly quickly, so riding a bike even once a week can save quite a bit of money over time.

2. It's better for the environment.

Cars put out a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air, and riding your bike uses nothing but your own muscle power. Also, it requires much less energy to produce a bike than it does to manufacture a car.

3. You improve your physical health.

Being in a car may get you to your destination more quickly, but your body is still idly sitting there, despite your speed of 45 mph. Especially with the obesity epidemic in the United States, getting enough exercise is more important now than ever. By biking, you not only burn calories and strengthen the muscles in your legs, but you also lower your blood pressure and risk of cancer, diabetes, and other diseases over time.

4. You can improve your mental health.

Studies have shown that biking on a regular basis can reduce the effects of depression and anxiety disorders. Cycling can also improve your brain's cognition, brain function, and general mental performance. Biking, as well as other forms of aerobic exercise, helps to increase the size of your hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and problem solving skills.

5. You won't get stuck in traffic.

Driving at rush hour, especially in busy metropolitan areas, can be frustrating when you have to deal with stop and go traffic. Biking paths and sidewalks have much less congestion, and you will often be able to go to and from work without stopping more than a few times.

6. It's cheaper than a gym membership.

Provided that you already own a bicycle, biking to work is free. Not only do you save money on gas (as mentioned earlier), but you don't have to pay for an expensive gym membership. Biking is a great form of exercise, and by using it as your transportation to and from class or work, you don't have to spend more time working out at the gym after you get home.

7. You never have to worry about finding a parking spot.

Finding a place to park can sometimes be a difficult task, but taking a bicycle avoids that annoying part of driving. It's typically much easier to find a place to lock up your bike than to park a car.

8. You get to take the scenic route.

There are a lot of places that bikes can go, but cars cannot. Some biking paths go through parks or wooded areas, which are much more pleasant to look at than a gridlock of cars on a congested city street. Many biking paths are adjacent to city streets, but this doesn't mean you can't still get the scenic route. Because you aren't stuck inside a car, you get to take a look at the city in a new, different way.

Cover Image Credit: Bike and Roll Chicago

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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