5 Bicycle Benefits
5 Bicycle Benefits
The weather is warming up and we are thinking of more ways to get outside, stay active, and enjoy nature. This week is recognized as National Bike to Work Week. While your work commute is too far to bike, or you may be working from home, this week is still a great time to point out what hopping on a bicycle can do for both your physical and mental health. Here are 5 bicycle benefits that you can take advantage of this week!
1. Cardiovascular health improvement
Like most exercises that increase heart rate, biking also has cardiovascular benefits. When your heart is engaged during an exercise like biking, it is strengthening the muscles it uses to pump blood throughout your body. Additionally, cardio exercises help to reduce the amount of fat in your blood and can reduce your risk of diseases like stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure
2. Core Strengthening
So many activities in our day-to-day lives keep us from practicing good posture. Whether it is working at a desk, caring for little ones, or a long car commute, we are constantly hunching our backs. A way to combat poor posture is by strengthing the core muscles through bicycling. While riding a bike for exercise, you can focus on the muscles that cause your body to properly sit upright. Biking engages and strengthens core muscles that will aid in better posture over time.
3. Mood boost
During exercise, the brain undergoes a release of endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that are responsible for upping your mood and giving you an overall feeling of positivity. Biking increases endorphin production. Also, during a bike ride, you have an opportunity to zone out, in a sense, and become in tune with the movements of your body. This can bring feelings of relaxation and calm.
4. Healthy Family Time
With technology at our fingertips, it is very easy to spend the time that you have with your family scrolling through social media, watching different tv shows on different devices, and completely separating yourselves even though you are in the same room. You may be spending time with family, but the time spent isn’t “quality time”. How do you fix this? Family bike rides! Allocating time with your family that is screen-free and outside is a great way to build strong bonds and teach younger family members the importance of staying active. There are a ton of biking accessories for infants and toddlers that parents can use to make sure each family member is taking in the benefits of biking.
5. Environmental impact
Bicycles rely solely on the person driving them in order to move forward. This, in turn, means that someone can use bicycles as a mode of transportation that does not require the use of gasoline. Less gas means less air pollution in our air. Beyond air pollution, cars can emit other pollutants such as motor oil and antifreeze. When you opt for a bike ride instead of a car ride, you are making a choice that is good for our planet.
Where to Start
After learning the benefits of biking, you may face the challenge of, “where do I start?” There are a ton of different ways to jump into biking, even if you don’t own a bike at home. One way to start is clearing a spot in your schedule. Even if it’s only once a week, rearrange your routines to find time to devote to biking. A 15 minute bike ride is a great way to form a new habit. Everyone has to start somewhere and biking is an activity that you can benefit from no matter how short the session is. Also, check out your local gyms or YMCA as a great place to find spin classes, exercise classes focused on biking. This week, make a commitment to form a new, positive habit and start biking!
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