When it comes to finding easy ways to improve your health, there are none so good as saying goodbye to gas-spewing vehicles and opting to get from here to there via bicycle. While you can certainly find other ways to work out, this one serves the dual purpose of providing transportation to and from the places you frequent, like your place of work, the grocery store, and anywhere else you might choose to go.
But it can also offer entertainment if you like to take the back trails and enjoy the beauty of nature. So there are many benefits to riding a bike, but of course the main one is improved health. Here are just a few ways in which hopping on your ten-speed or mountain bike can help to boost your overall health and wellness.
For one thing, riding a bike is a great way to lose weight. It is an intrinsically cardiac exercise, meaning that your heart rate will speed up, causing your bodily systems to work harder, burn calories, and start using your fat cells as fuel. This is good news if you’re looking to slim down your thighs and do away with love handles.
But aside from whittling away at your fat reserves, it also helps to build lean muscle, which will leave your body looking defined rather than flabby. In particular, you’ll be using the muscles of your legs to power your bike, and these are some of the biggest muscles in the body, meaning it takes a lot of energy to make them move. The payoff is faster results.
And of course, biking is an exercise that just about anyone can do. Unlike jogging, biking is low-impact, so even those with poor joints can do it. And unlike aerobics, dance, or kickboxing (for example) it doesn’t require participants to have any particular skill or coordination. It is a simple way to build up strength and endurance that you can pick up at any time by simply getting on a bike.
You’ll also reduce the risk for a number of diseases when you opt to start cycling, mainly diabetes and heart disease.
Cardiopulmonary exercise not only helps you to get in shape, it also lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure to prevent hypertension and even heart attack. Plus, physical activity can get other systems in your body working more efficiently, as well, including digestion.
And don’t forget that bicycling benefits both you and the environment. Consider for a moment the massive amounts of hydrocarbons that your car emits each time your drive. By using your bike instead, you are keeping these noxious gasses out of the air. This means that there are less harmful toxins in every breath you take, which in turn leads to less risk of chemical-induced illnesses and disorders (like cancers). So you get the double-whammy of benefits from biking.
In addition to the many benefits to your health, riding a bike can also serve to save you money. Whereas you have to shell out beaucoup bucks every year for automobile and motor bike insurance (not to mention the cost of gas, registration, maintenance, parking, and so on) riding a bike is 100% free (unless you need repairs at some point). So the weight you lose at your waistline can soon be found in your wallet, which can be great for your mental health!