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.