Instead of buying your next set of car wheels, why not consider getting yourself some new bicycle tires instead? While cars are fast and exhilarating, riding a bicycle has far more benefits to your health, your wallet, and the environment. Clocking some mileage on your bike can help you lose weight, enjoy your natural surroundings, and commute faster to work. Furthermore, riding a bicycle in your city or locality opens your eyes to new adventures, possibilities, and locations. The following are reasons why bike riding is good for you, and why you should consider getting on the saddle and cycling more often.
Cycling is a great way to travel without burning a hole through your bank account. A high-quality bike can cost $2000 or less, compared to an automobile, which costs upwards of $9,000. This is before factoring in the cost of fuel, maintenance, parking, and insurance which can add up to thousands of dollars every year.
The cost of bicycle maintenance is quite low, especially if you choose to do it yourself. However, the financial benefits of hopping on a bicycle are not limited to the individual. Cost benefit analysis in certain cities show that the population can save millions of dollars in health care costs if they invest in bicycle infrastructure. This is because cyclists are more productive and take fewer sick days compared to people who don’t exercise at all.
Cycling Can Help You Lose Weight
Cycling helps increase your heart rate, which boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat. The number of calories you burn depends on the terrain and your speed. However, on average, a person burns as many calories cycling as he does jogging. Fortunately, cycling is a low impact sport that is a lot kinder to people who are a bit on the heavier side.
If you are not very fit, you should try cycling for weight loss, as most of your weight is supported by the saddle. If you are just starting out, one of the best bike riding tips for beginners is to start slowly and to pace yourself in order to reduce the chances of burnout. As you get stronger and fitter, you can challenge yourself by conquering hills and rough terrain.
Improved Physical Health
Forget apples! Cycling every day can literally help keep the doctor away. Studies show that cycling can help improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, and reduce the risk of suffering from diabetes. There is also some evidence to show that cycling can help reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.
Improved Mental Health
Research has shown that daily cycling can help boost your brain power, sharpen your memory, and reduce cognitive decline. It is also a great form of aerobic exercise, and can help improve reaction times and boost creative thinking. Cycling has also been known to relieve the symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
You can pace back and forth in your office all day, but nothing beats the calming effect and the repetitive action of pedaling your bicycle. Cycling helps organize and clear your thoughts and make them more manageable. As a form of exercise, it also helps your brain release feel-good endorphins, which make you feel happier.
It Can Help You Get To Your Destination Faster
Get ready for envious looks from drivers stuck in traffic jams. As a cyclist, you can whiz through traffic and get to your destination in record time. This is especially the case if you live in an urban environment, where most drivers are stuck in bumber-to-bumper traffic. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend up to ten minutes looking for a parking spot, as you can simply lock your bike on the nearest pole.
It’s Environmentally Friendly
Need to reduce your carbon footprint? Then get pedaling. There are zero emissions from cycling, making it an environmentally sustainable form of transport. The production and use of motor vehicles is responsible for about 30-percent of all greenhouse emissions. Furthermore, since you are the one who powers your bicycle, you reduce over-dependence on harmful and non-renewable energy sources.
It’s Ideal for People of All Fitness Levels and Ages
Cycling is a low-impact sport, making it ideal for people of all fitness levels and ages. Unlike running, cycling does not put a lot of stress on your joints, making it suitable for people with joint problems such as osteoarthritis. Cycling is also ideal for people who are at risk of cardiovascular diseases, as it improves their heart rate and circulation.
Riding your bicycle is a comfortable form of exercise for people who are obese, and it can actually help them shed some weight. Individuals who are cycling for weight loss should start slowly and combine it with a healthy diet to notice results. Riding a bicycle is also easier on your feet, your knees, and your legs, making it a great form of exercise for people recovering from injuries.
As you age, you may have to kiss certain forms of exercise, such as weightlifting, goodbye. However, you never have to say goodbye to cycling, and you can actually ride your bike for the rest of your life.
Helps You Discover Your Surroundings
Walking and running are great ways to explore your surroundings, but you can go further on a bicycle. Riding the open countryside gives you the feeling of freedom, and helps you discover parts of your neighborhood that you wouldn’t have noticed if you were driving your vehicle.
Furthermore, commuting by car reduces your trips to the same routes. If you use a bicycle, you can explore new bike trails and routes that get you to your destination while showing you an unexplored part of your town or neighborhood.
Great Form of Exercise
Most people have very little time to head to the gym for a proper workout. Between work, family, and business, it can be hard to squeeze in most forms of exercise. Fortunately, cycling is a great way to kill several birds with one stone, as it is a legitimate form of both travel and exercise. You can burn as much as 500 calories on a five-mile commute, making cycling a great way to stay active without dedicating a specific block of time to exercising.
The more people take up cycling, the safer the roads will be. This is because there will be fewer fatal collisions when more people ride their bikes to work or school. Furthermore, a 2008 study by the University of New South Wales showed that motorists drive more safely when there are more pedestrians and cyclists on the road. This creates a virtuous cycle that makes the roads safer for everyone involved.
The reasons why bike riding is good for you cannot be over-emphasized. Whether you’d like to hop on a bike to lose weight, exercise, or explore nature, you’ll feel a lot better after cycling.