If the thought of sucking down bus exhaust has you hesitating to take up that bicycle commute, you're in luck: It turns out you're better off on two wheels than four, even if it means breathing more particulate matter.

That's the finding of a study conducted in the Netherlands, comparing the lung function of car and bus riders to bicycle commuters. Incredibly, even though the bike commuters were breathing in more particulates, their lungs worked better and they experienced less airway inflammation than car and bus commuters.

The researchers declined to speculate on the mechanism behind this phenomenon, but who really cares about the mechanism? Bottom line: The health benefits of commuting under your own power lengthen your life far more than the potential downsides, even after you take things like crashes into account.

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