I have always enjoyed a good bike ride, not realizing all the best benefits of bicycle riding. These benefits are for both my body and my mental health. So now I will try to explain what I mean by this, and how it may help you and many other people too.
Bicycling may reduce your chances of stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack by stimulating and improving your lungs and heart, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Riding a bicycle just 20-30 minutes every other day exposes you to daylight and puts your body’s circadian rhythm back in sync which reduces your body cortisol: the stress hormone that can prevent deep sleep. In more simple terms, riding your bike can help you get a better night’s sleep!
Research has found that exercise and eating a good diet (grains, lean meat and green leafy vegetables) can lower lung, bowel, colon and breast cancer and bicycling is definitely excellent exercise!
Riding a bike helps build new brain cells in the hippo campus area in the brain, which is responsible for a person’s memory. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to hold on to my memory as long as possible!
All types of musicians and artist find that bike riding relaxes them and helps to sharpen their problem solving skills, so go bicycling to refresh your mind and increase your creativity.
Getting out and bicycling helps reduce stress so you feel better. It also reduces anxiety as well. Life can be so challenging and demanding on us that we need a way to relieve our stress. Why not do something that is so good for us in so many ways and that can be very enjoyable?
With regular bicycle riding, you burn lots of calories. Plus pedaling raises your metabolic rate and builds muscles too. A good diet increases these benefits even more.
Activities that require resistance such as bicycling pull on the muscles and then the muscles pull on the bone which gives us greater bone density. This can help prevent osteoarthritis in our later years and reduce the risk of needing knee and hip replacements.
Be Sick Less
Moderate exercise makes your body’s immune system more ready to fight off infections when they happen which gives you more time to enjoy doing the things you like to do. For me, that would be more bicycling!
Bicycling regularly improves your circulation through exercise, as more oxygen and nutrients get to the skin cells more effectively and get rid of harmful toxins. This means that collagen production will be better, which helps reduce wrinkles and speeds up the healing process. Fewer wrinkles equals a younger looking you!
A recent study showed that elderly patients reported that when a few minutes of cycling per day was added to their routine, they were able to recover faster from the debilitating knee pain of osteoarthritis.
Live A Longer Life
Another study shows that people who switch from driving a car all the time to bicycling 60 minutes a week reduce the risk of early death by up to 23 percent! The bicyclers also have a lower risk of type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, as well as all types of cancers and obesity.
Bicycling for better Mental Health
Conditions like anxiety, stress and depression can be reduced by regular bicycling. The enjoyment alone can bring relief. It can really help take your mind off the problems we all have on a daily basis. We all need to give our minds a break from everyday stresses.
Improve the Environment
If you’re someone who is concerned about how much cars pollute the air, try riding your bicycle more. Some people even bicycle to work every day if the distance allows. Another bonus is that bicycles take up a lot less space in the parking lot! Maybe you can think of other short trips that you may just automatically head for your car to go to and could take your bike instead.
Helping other People
A lot of bicyclists take to the road to help others who are less fortunate, such as in fundraisers or disaster relief programs. The Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts “Bike to the Bay” in this area. These types of rides in large groups can be a great time and it’s so good to know you are doing it to help raise money for those in need.
To sum it up
The best benefits of bicycle riding include helping both mind and body, and it can help others too. For these reasons, and because I just enjoy it so much, I do not foresee giving up bike riding anytime soon. I hope that it can give you as much joy and satisfaction as it does me. Have a great ride!
I’m an avid bike rider and I love all things healthy. When I’m not riding my bike you’ll see me driving the big yellow bus to school.