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7 Benefits to Riding Your Bike

Healthy Lifestyle

It is one of the joys of childhood most everyone will remember: Riding a bicycle. 

Bike riding is something all ages can do. Don’t worry if you don’t know how – you can always learn. As long as you can walk, you can ride a bike. 

There are many benefits of biking. Here are the top seven ways biking can improve your health: 

  1. Uplift your mind and spirit. It reduces stress and depression. Feel good chemicals called endorphins are released with exercise and this will cause your self-esteem and confidence to improve. Getting out in nature and feeling the fresh outdoor air and breeze against your face is very good for the spirit. You can enjoy the great outdoors as you pedal along, appreciating the beauty of the sunrise, sunset, as well as a close-up view to wildlife, flowers and plants. 
  2. Create a healthy heart. This is an activity that makes your heart beat faster – decreasing blood pressure and lowering your resting heart rate. You are able to get the same cardiovascular rewards from cycling as you would get from walking, running or dancing. 
  3. Lose body fat and have a leaner physique. Muscle is built from cycling, especially the quadriceps. You are also building and toning the glutes, hamstrings and calves. Biking will give you a full body workout without you even realizing it. Your shoulders, arms and core are activated as you balance the bike. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate is and the more calories you will burn. A cyclist moving at a speed of 10 mph burns 260 calories an hour.
  4. Lower your risk of cancer. Adopting physical activities like biking or running, getting regular exercise and eating lots of leafy greens, lean proteins and whole grains will help you maintain a healthy weight, lowering your cancer risk. 
  5. Reduce arthritis symptoms. Cycling is a non-weight bearing method of exercise with lower injury rates than other cardiovascular activities like running. It can play an important role in strengthening leg muscles and maintaining knee joint mobility. It is always important to consult your physician before proceeding with exercise which may impact arthritic knees.
  6. Increase social activity – no matter the age! Children can learn how to cycle when they are young and it’s a life skill they will have forever. Grandparents can also bike, and it is a family activity you can enjoy together. Cycling is an amazing activity to allow you to meet other people with the same interests and can increase your social network. It is a fun activity to enjoy and doesn’t seem like exercise. 
  7. It’s good for the environment. Using your own leg power as gas will save fuel costs. Passenger cars in cities are the biggest source of greenhouse gases, which damage the nervous system and can lead to severe respiratory issues. It is also a noiseless mode of transportation which can decrease noise pollution. 

The benefits of cycling are almost as endless as the trails and miles of amazing outdoor terrain you can explore. Bikes will take you places that cars never see. Everyday activities will become easier such as endurance, walking, standing and stair climbing. Riding a bike is enjoyable, socially oriented and gets you outside and moving. 

They say you will never forget how to ride a bike, so maybe it’s time for you to consider getting back in the saddle. Just be sure to always wear a helmet for safety!
 

Brenda Herrod

About the Author:

Brenda Herrod is a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner who is passionate about inspiring and sharing her healthy lifestyle with others.

She is also an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, C.O.P.E. Certified Health Coach, and Precision Nutrition Health Coach working with employees at Methodist Health System.

See More Articles by Brenda Herrod