Health Benefits of Riding a Bicycle

As a kid, your bicycle was most likely your main mode of transportation. From school and your best friend’s house to clear across town, you had the energy to ride you bike for hours a day. Then you got your driver’s license and there was no looking back, nor did you make time to ride your bicycle. If your beloved bike is just a memory of your childhood, you may want to consider hopping back on it again. Here are some healthy benefits to driving your car less and riding your bicycle more:

Good for the Body

Although bicycling is a great form of exercise, there are more healthful benefits than just getting a weekly workout. First of all, as with other forms of exercise, it can help you burn fat and create a stronger and leaner body. As a result, certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer can be decreased due to the weight loss experienced when riding a bicycle. Secondly, unlike other types of exercise that promote weight loss, bicycling is relatively easy and is gentler on the body, which can be great for beginners or individuals with existing health issues. Finally, bicycling may also be the “fountain of youth” that everyone is looking for. Both casual and frequent cyclists may see an increase in their longevity, as some studies have shown after looking at Tour de France riders.

Better for Your Brain

While riding your bike a few times a week can do wonders for your physical well-being, don’t overlook the benefits it can have on your brain. Studies have long shown that regular exercise can benefit your brain functions and your mental health. Think about the last time you took a bike ride. How did you feel when you got home? While you may have felt a little tired from your ride (especially if you hadn’t cycled in quite a few years), you probably felt energized, happy, and clear minded.

Riding your bicycle can help you alleviate any stress you may be feeling and can even reduce the risk of anxiety or depression. Additionally, you may also experience clearer thinking, a better memory, more restful sleep at night and more energy during the day.

Although riding your bicycle can greatly benefit your brain, don’t forget to take good care of your head while riding. Michael D. Kelly, of Kelly & Soto Law, reminds bicycle riders, of all ages and skill levels, to wear a helmet to protect their heads from serious injury in the event of an accident.

Cycle Your Way to Happiness

When you participate in regular exercise and as a result, start feeling physically and mentally healthier, you’re likely to be a happier person. Not only will you notice a positive change in your health, overall, but you may also be more confident and have better self-esteem.

Bicycling is a great activity to do on your own, but it is also a fun way to spend time with friends and even meet other people. Having a healthy social life is connected to your physical and mental health, too, so don’t be quick to pass up the chance to go on a group ride with other bicyclists.

Waking Up With Aches And Pains? Neck Sore? Back Pain?

Your pillow is important; it keeps your head in the right position, cradling your neck, supporting the natural s shape in this top part of your spine so that in the morning, you awake, fresh and ache-free.

But, it seems that we are reticent when it comes to life of our pillows. We become attached to our pillows, far more than we do the mattress that supports our body or the duvets that envelopes our body – the first signs of wear and tear, or stains, and we invest in new bedding and mattress.

It seems that our pillows, which we should replace every 6 months if we do not wash them, are not replaced as often as needed; research shows that 5 years is the norm but some people confessed to not having had a new pillow in ten years…

However, like other materials and products, the more you paid for your pillow, the more likely it is to withstand the test of time. Cared for correctly, pillows can last:

  • Feather pillows: 8 years
  • Down pillows: 5 years
  • Synthetic pillows: 6 months to 2 years

Hence, when people say that they have not renewed their pillows, it seems the majority are talking about synthetic filled pillows.
So, if you have washed it (getting rid of dust mites and debris), how do you know you pillow needs replacing?

  • Feather or down pillow

Placing the pillow on a flat surface, bend it over and squeeze all the air out of it; if, when you let the pillow go, it unfolds and spring back in to shape, it means there is enough structure left and the pillow is still good to use. However, if it stays deflated and crumpled, time to go pillow-shopping…

  • Synthetic filled pillow (polyester, hollowfibre, microfibre)

Once again, place the pillow on a flat surface and fold it in half. Place a weight on it – around 300g or a decent paperback book will do. If, when you take your hand off the weight off, it unfolds, springs back and knocks the weight off, then the pillow has enough strength and structure. But again, if the pillow stays folded and nestles the weight, this is not the sign of a good pillow – even if it is your favourite, and it has been your best pillow for years, the time has come to assign it another role and get a new one.

A new pillow can – and will! – make all the difference

Many people complain of waking with an aching or sore neck, sore shoulders or even that their usual fitful night’s sleep seems to have turned into a disaster zone, they still do not think their bedding, especially their pillow, could be to blame.

Wool bedding, including pillow, duvet and mattress protectors are becoming ‘fashionable’ as more people realize the true potential, once again, of this sustainable product.  With great structure, strength and integrity, why not give a wool pillow and bedding a try?