Cycling is an enjoyable activity because you can join a group or ride off alone if you feel the need for solitude. It enables you to quickly leave the city behind you and calm your spirit in lush, soothing scenery. A bicycle provides you with the freedom of the open road where you can take in the fresh air and begin to breathe again whenever you feel the need to escape from suburban life. Here are eight more reasons why getting a bicycle is a good idea.
If you want to get in shape, then cycling is one of the best ways to go. Because it is so liberating, it is easy to stay motivated when other methods have failed. You don’t have to queue for gym equipment so you can choose the time of day that suits you most.
As a low-impact form of exercise, cycling means fewer injuries and muscle strain. At the same time, it exercises all the major groups of muscles so that you get a complete workout. Cycling provides aerobic fitness, endurance, and strength.
Every hour you cycle, you burn 300 calories. The recommended target is 2000 calories that you need to burn every week. This requires around six-and-a-half hours of cycling weekly.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the top killer in the US, with one fatality every 36 seconds. If you include strokes, one person dies in each four-minute period. Cycling improves cardiovascular health by reducing fat levels in the blood, dropping the resting pulse rate, and strengthening the heart muscle. This has been confirmed by studies of adults from the youngest up to 93 years old.
Reduction in Cancer and Diabetes
A half-hour cycling session has been shown to cut the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%. A poor diet and lack of exercise are major contributors to this condition. Studies indicate that colon cancer can be avoided by cycling regularly. There are mixed results on its ability to prevent breast cancer with some studies finding that it works and others citing no discernible difference.
Increased Life Span
For adults under 65 years of age, cycling adds between three and fourteen months to your life span. That equates to anything from one season up to over a year longer. What could someone do with an additional year to live? What would you do?
Immune System Health
The covid pandemic has made us all acutely aware of our immune systems and their potential to succumb to and/or overcome the virus. One study showed that even mild exercise can strengthen our immune systems. This means that from the first day of cycling, long before you build up capacity, you are already starting to reduce your risks of cold or flu.
Enjoyment of Nature
We have to include this benefit of cycling which exists purely for its own sake. The US offers multiple cycling trails to some of the most spectacular places in nature. While you can stick to the safe, urban trails in the beginning and progress to farmland and forest rides, you will want to set a goal to reach the bountiful beauty that skilled mountain bikers enjoy. Here is a guide for beginners, intermediate riders, and experienced cyclists.
Mental Health Benefits
A lot of research has been done on mental well-being and new methods of measuring it are being developed daily across various occupations and mental health organizations. They all agree that well-being and quality of life are vital to each and every person. You can take a self-administered test here to see how you score on this important life dimension.
All the experts agree that physical activity is an important aspect of wellness. Cycling is available when you need it to challenge a bout of depression or reduce anxiety with every mile.
Risks of Cycling
This article would be incomplete without a brief look at the risks of cycling. In built-up urban areas, the five biggest risks to watch out for are T-junctions, roundabouts, potholes, parked vehicles, and filtering and overtaking. Make sure that your bike and person are insured as accidents cannot always be avoided. Velosurance is a dedicated bicycle insurer that allows them to focus exclusively on this category. As fellow riders, their blogs provide relevant and worthwhile information on risks pertinent to bikers.
You can reduce your exposure by wearing bright tops with a reflective strip. Don’t count on motorists to look out for you. When filtering, beware of drivers who overtake without first assessing their blind spot. In traffic, be ready to brake or swerve as the situation necessitates.
On biking trails, the biggest threat may come from wild animals. In residential suburbs, you should watch out for dogs, in particular. Be well informed on how to mitigate such risks.
Risks aside, cycling is a superior form of exercise with numerous benefits. Don’t be at the end of the line to start enjoying the many superb hiking trails and seeing more of the countryside.