Health Benefits of Biking About
Because biking is the holy grail of exercise – it is incredibly good for you and you can do it while sitting down.
In the words of the wise JFK,“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike”. Perhaps that explains why the bike sharing boom has become a global phenomenon in recent years. Biking is certainly a more affordable means of zipping about town instead of relying on cars or public transport.
Biking about can also be an excellent stress buster after a long day’s slog at the office and a much healthier means of raising your heart rate rather than fuming away in traffic on your commute home. Wearing a respirator on the road will eliminate all those nasty particles from exhausts, so you can keep your respiratory health in check while giving yourself a good workout. Whether cycling is your passion, your primary means of transportation or something you haven’t considered since you were a kid, here are a few good reasons why hopping on a two-wheeler can benefit your mind and body.
Exercise is a crucial element in maintaining a healthy lifestyle but keeping in shape doesn’t mean you have to bust a gut or spend a fortune at the gym. Cycling from A to B can give your quads, hamstrings and glutes a great work out. To seriously tone up those trotters, you can build more muscle by riding in a higher gear or uphill.
Unless you’re legging it, riding a bike is a low-intensity way to get a great aerobic workout and lose some excess body fat.
Shedding those extra pounds will be a breeze if you can set up a consistent cycling schedule. Since cycling is a low impact form of exercise, you won’t be placing extra stress or your knee joints making it a perfect activity for older people and those of us who enjoy spending as much time as possible sitting down.
It’s not just your physical health that will benefit from saddling up, biking around can be a great stress reliever. According to the Stress Management Society, “Cycling actually forces you to regulate your breathing, as well as to breathe deeper to expel any lingering CO2 – both key methods used to alleviate stress in non-riders, so you’re practising proven clinical techniques.” Evidence also suggests that boosting blood flow to the brain can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. If your mind is inclined to feel a bit fuzzy after a long day or restless night, getting on your bike and raising your heart rate can give your brain power a boost as the increased flow of blood helps to replenish neurons related to learning and memory.
So many of us sacrifice sleep for a marathon Netflix binge or a late night sleepy stumble down an internet rabbit hole. Problematically, when leading an inactive lifestyle your body just might not be tired by bedtime. Sleeping for the recommended amount of time at night might seem like a real snooze-fest when the wealth of human knowledge lies at the tap of your fingertips, but getting some shut-eye is seriously important for your overall health and well-being. By changing your routine and cycling to pick up your groceries or biking to and from work, your sleep quality and duration will improve and ward off disorders, like stress, insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. Studies from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University show that:
“Reducing regular sleep by just one hour each night can lead to a spike in the stress hormone cortisol, which can prevent deep, regenerative sleep, making it even harder to sleep,” he says. “Exercise is the one factor that has been shown to redress that imbalance.”
One unfortunate side effect of modern life might be our over-reliance on chemicals as a cure-all for ailments, anxiety and depression. The American Psychological Association suggests that psychologists could be better about advising exercise as an essential element during a person’s treatment, particularly as current research points to physical activity having a mood enhancing effect.
Cycling can provide your mind with the mental break it craves, since you’re busy processing what is happening in the moment, looking at real life around you with your hands completely occupied, you’re forced to resist the wiles of modern technology and simply focus on the journey.
Customers of Cambridge Mask Company all know how vital lung health is to our brand. Cardiovascular exercise will help your lungs to function more efficiently. We’re all living longer in more polluted air and since lung capacity decreases with age, it’s necessary to give those lungs of yours a good workout to keep them healthy over time. A lot of our customers don’t have the luxury of biking about in beautifully clean air, so we, of course, recommend wearing a mask if your route takes you onto polluted city streets.
Since cycling will cause you to breath harder, you will be at risk of inhaling many more pollutants if you do not take precautions to protect your respiratory system.
Keeping healthy heart is another vital benefit of regular aerobic exercise. Heart disease is responsible for a staggering 1 in 4 deaths in the USA and the Center for Disease Control rates it as the leading cause of death in American men and women. A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association writes that cycling to work could be an important strategy for preventing cardiovascular risks. The analysis indicates that just 30 minutes of biking per week awarded participants in the study with some protection against heart disease.
More regular biking activity cut the chances of developing heart problems by nearly 50%.
Beyond these incredible disease-busting benefits, you’ll also be happy to hear that cycling regularly can reduce signs of ageing. Stanford University found that exercise optimises collagen production, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and increases the skins ability to heal. As exercise increases oxygen delivery around the body, toxins can be flushed out, and nutrients can reach skin cells more effectively. However, this will not entirely mitigate the effects of sun damage, so it is essential never to skimp on high-quality SPF creams.
Being tanned might be a current fad, but a healthy glow is far more achievable when you adequately protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays as you exercise.
When you’re looking good, there’s no doubt that you’ll also start feeling good and backing the bike trend can actually give your libido a bump. All that biking about should have banished the blues, which can be a major block in the bedroom department. The increased blood flow and rise in oxygen levels during and after exercise produce feelings of intense well-being and increased sexual vitality.
Thankfully Taoist beliefs regarding longevity have been entirely debunked, and a healthy sex life is now known to keep you alive and kicking much longer. Cyclist Weekly quite enthusiastically touts the benefits of regular athletic activities both in and outside the bedroom.
Beyond all the health benefits, there is a myriad of environmental, social and educational reasons to start making cycling a regular part of your lifestyle. Bike share schemes and safer cycling lanes are becoming ubiquitous around the world, so there really is no excuse for most of us not to hop in the saddle, reduce our carbon footprints and enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a bike from time to time.