Everyone should learn to ride a bike. It really is true ─ once you learn, you will never forget how to ride one. Many people learn as a child, and they fondly remember their first bike, and the joy they experienced from learning to ride it. For a lot of people, bike riding stays with them throughout their lives. They ride for recreation, and even to school and work. For others, bike riding stopped the day that they got their drivers license.
If you don’t know how to ride a bike, it’s not too late to learn. Mostly, it’s an act of balance and learning to maneuver the bike. If you think you are too old to learn how to ride a bike ─ you are wrong. Many people who enjoy riding do so into their 80’s and even 90’s. It’s an excellent way to stay fit and to work out your entire body. Furthermore, it’s a great way to spend time outdoors, get some fresh air, and to explore new places!
If you already know how to ride but haven’t for some time ─ it’s time to start riding again! If you are new to riding a bike, don’t worry! Have a friend help you out until you get your balance. Once you start riding again, you won’t want to turn back! And, with cycling on the rise, many new riding trails and lanes have been built over the last few years, with rentals nearby.
Riding a bike is a magnificent boost to your health ─ both mentally and physically. Read on to learn why!
12 Reasons Why Bike Riding Boosts Your Mental And Physical Health!
1. Bike Riding is Healthy For Your Heart
Bike riding gets your blood moving and is great exercise for your heart. In fact, bike riding can reduce your chance of coronary heart disease by up to 50 percent. Furthermore, it’s good for keeping your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels which can cause heart attacks.
Of course, to get the full benefit, health experts say that you should ride about 20 miles per week. I know that that sounds like a lot of miles, but trust me, when you are on a bike, the miles go by quickly. And, you don’t need to do all 20 miles in one day ─ you can spread it out over the 7-day span of a week. That’s less than 3 miles per day!
2. Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Did you know that obesity and the lack of physical activity are the leading causes of type 2 diabetes? Bike riding is an excellent way of keeping your weight under control. Obesity also leads to hypertension, cardio problems, and stroke.
3. Biking is a Low Impact Exercise
Low impact exercises are easier on your body and easier to get into if you haven’t exercised for awhile or are overweight. It puts less weight on your joints and ankles, with less force of impact.
When you’re on a bike, your muscles do most of the work, giving your knees, ankles, and even feet, a rest.
4. Is a Big Stress Buster
There is no workout as calming as riding a bicycle in a green environment and feeling the breeze go by.
“Any mild-to-moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy” ─ Andrew McCulloch, Mental Health Foundation
Today, many therapists are prescribing exercise as the most common, natural treatment for depression. McCulloch says that only 3, 30-minute bicycling sessions per week will do the trick in giving you the mental boost that you need.
5. Bike Riding Fights Fatigue
If you’re feeling tired, go for a ride! Physical activity, even for a couple of minutes, is a good wake-up call. It gets your blood flowing and forces your metabolism to get moving again.
6. Recover From Injury Faster
Recent studies show that people that suffer from osteoporosis, knee pain, or leg injuries recover faster when bike riding is introduced into their daily activity. Even cycling for a few minutes each day can help to work through your pain.
7. Biking is a Good Family Activity
Kids love to ride their bikes, so why not join them and make it a family activity? Even the smallest of family members can join in by riding along in a tow-along buggy or bike seat. And, because biking is easy on the joints, there’s no reason that grandparents can’t join in, as well.
8. You Will Get Better Sleep
Exercising, in general, will use up extra energy and will help you sleep better. However, exercising outdoors exposes you to daylight which helps in getting your circadian rhythm into sync. Furthermore, exercising outdoors helps your body in getting rid of cortisol, the stress hormone which can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.
9. Bike Riding Will Boost Your Immune System
Riding a bike and getting moderate exercise will boost your immune system and help to fight off illness by making the immune cells more active. Humans were designed to be active, so it makes sense that when you become less active, you will suffer from sickness more.
10. You Will Feel Better, Overall
Not only are you boosting your health, but your mood, as well.
Exercising makes you feel better for several reasons:
- When you are healthier, you are happier
- When you burn excess energy and relieve stress, your mood improves
- If you feel and look physically fit, it boosts your confidence
11. Helps You to Think Better and Boosts Creativity
Need to make an important decision and can’t come up with the solution? Try going for a bike ride! Exercise allows more oxygen to reach the brain, which in turn, can help you to think more clearly and even bring out your creative side. In fact, artists, musicians, writers, top executives, and many other professionals use exercise to make better decisions and to solve mental blocks.
12. You Can Save Time, Money, and the Environment
Ditch the car and get on your bike. You will save money by using less gas, won’t wear down your car as much, and won’t be contributing to polluting the environment. Plus, if you live in the city, you can beat the traffic by riding a bike!
As you can see, there are many reasons to get out and ride a bike! Bike riding is becoming more and more popular theses days, so if you don’t own a bike, you can easily find bike rentals near your home. Many parks and cities offer bike rentals, and usually, if there is a bike path, there is a bike rental company nearby.
Where do you enjoy riding your bike? Let us know in the comments below!
And, if you found this information useful, please share it with your family and friends so that they too can discover the benefits of bike riding!
Robin, and the Zen team