Biking is an activity that is enjoyed by millions of people all around the world. It is something that you can enjoy, regardless of your age or gender, and is a great way to keep fit, as well as have fun.
Recent studies have shown that in the US, the percentage of women who made frequent tips on their bikes was around the 25% region, while in European countries such as Germany, this number was closer to 50%. The signs are that cycling in general is growing both as a form of fitness, as well as a mode of transportation. And the number of women who are turning to cycling are gradually increasing.
The environmental impact of cycling rather than traveling by car or bus is huge, and more and more people are taking to the road with their bikes. The recent lockdowns around the world due to Covid-19 have resulted in a huge spike in the number of people out cycling. It is also worth noting that since the easing of lockdowns, people have continued to use their bikes for travel and recreation, and hopefully this number will continue and not drop off to pre-Covid-19 levels.
The Health Benefits
There are many health benefits to cycling including physical and mental aspects. Fitness of course is the primary one, and cycling is extremely good for the body.
Cycling can help reduce the risk of serious health issues such as stroke, diabetes and even heart disease. In 2017, research carried out by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) investigated the connection between active commuting and various diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Their research showed that cycle commuting had a positive connection with lowering the risk of such health conditions.
Additionally, another study carried out found that the risk of heart disease was cut in half if you were able to cycle just 20 miles each week. Break those 20 miles down into 3-4 days and you can quickly see that achieving such distances on a weekly basis is very easy. Regular cycling activity can help protect you from cardiovascular illnesses.
For women, there are some very specific benefits of cycling in terms of female health. In addition to risk factors including hormones and biology, the risk of obesity is very high, especially in women over the age of 45. Women are prone to suffer from osteoarthritis, a form of arthritis that is extremely common, and the rates of which are much higher than men.
Weight Loss from Cycling
By cycling the weight loss that can be achieved could play a role in lowering the risks of osteoarthritis. The fact that cycling is an activity that is non-bearing, people of all ages can take part in the activity, and the subsequent weight loss, will only have positive aspects towards a person’s health and wellbeing.
Cycling can also help avoid pains and injuries that can be caused by impact related activities such as walking or jogging. Some of these pains include knee and ankle problems, back pains and muscle strains. The benefit of cycling over walking or running is that it is not strenuous on the joints, which in turn helps the cartilage from wearing out.
In addition to your heart, there are many other muscles in your body that benefit from cycling. These include your thighs, calves, back, shoulders and neck. By being out and about, you are also allowing your body to collect vitamin D.
Of course, you don’t need to be cycling for that, but it is an added bonus to some of the other health benefits the cyclists are rewarded with. Research from a study in the USA has shown that cycling for just 30 minutes a day, five times a week, can help improve your immunity and keep your immune system more active.
Mental Health Benefits
In addition to your physical health, your mental health is equally as important, and cycling has been shown to have many benefits to your mental wellbeing. It is said that women are more likely to be diagnosed with issues such as anxiety than men are.
Cycling is a great chance to enjoy some “me time”, allowing you to get out and enjoy the fresh air and scenery. You can find some great resources in the Wheloo’s women section, which is full of interesting articles and advice.
Another positive aspect of cycling is that it can help with your social lives. You can find a local cycling group to join, and can enjoy rides on your bike with new friends on the weekends or afternoons. Instead of sitting at home spending hours scrolling through social media, being bombarded with images of the perfect looks and lifestyle, why not do something positive with that time instead and get out and start cycling.
It is a positive start to the day
If you have the chance to start your morning with a bike run, then it is an excellent way to get your circulation going, and to feel a sense of achievement with something you’ve accomplished so early in the day. If you begin your day with a positive outlook, then the rest of your day could be a lot more productive and focused than usual.
An added bonus is that you have already burnt off a few calories, so what’s to say that you don’t deserve that iced cake or bar of chocolate as a reward during your lunch break.
OK, so this one isn’t just for women, but men as well, but cycling is a lot better for the environment that taking a car or bus. If you are able to commute to work by bicycle, this is great, and can give you a good adrenaline boost to start the day.
Nothing is worse than waiting at a bus stop each morning, worrying about whether you are going to make it to work on time. By cycling into work each morning, you are in control, and not relying on someone else to get you there.