How Biking Can Help You Stay in Shape

Over the past decade, many major cities are encouraging their citizens to ride bicycles. This prevents pollution and improves traffic congestion for cities. It also helps improve the health of citizens who would normally drive to work and receive little exercise.

While the trend started as a way to save money during the recession, it has continued because people have discovered a love for the sport. Not only is it fun, it also helps you to stay in shape and feel great!

Biking or Walking

Walking and biking are both great cardiovascular workouts. Biking does have several advantages over walking that help you to burn more calories and exercise more muscles than walking.

Burns More Calories

Biking allows your body to and fat than walking. As you can imagine, this varies depending on pace, terrain, and the difficulty of the exercise. Biking tends to be the better calorie burner because you are using more muscles to stabilize your bike and when ascending hills. More muscles working leads to more calories burned.

Easier on Joints

Biking is easier on your joints, such as your knees, because you are not carrying your total body weight on them. People who experience knee pain may be able to bike easier than walk. Not only is biking easier on the joints, it allows you to use your joints in a way that is healthy for them. This helps prevent arthritis and keep your joints moving longer.

Health Benefits of Biking

There are many physical health benefits to biking. Here are just a few of the most significant ones.

Lose Weight

An active lifestyle helps you to lose weight and keep it off. Biking is part of a healthy, active lifestyle. It utilizes your muscles and cardiovascular system to burn calories fast. A great part about biking is that it is very enjoyable. Most people love the activity, which makes it easier to lose weight and stick with it.

Heart Health

Your cardiovascular system benefits greatly from cycling. Researchers from the University of Denmark found that bikers who biked for fun or their daily commute had from 11 to 18 percent than people who didn’t bike.

Biking challenges your cardiovascular system which keeps it strong and healthy. You can go as fast or a slow as you like and you are still reaping the cardiovascular benefits of the exercise.

Stronger Muscles

Biking is a great way to give your lower body a great workout. It and builds muscle endurance. You actively engage your quadriceps and hamstrings during the upstroke and downstroke. Your glutes, calves, and the hip adductors also get a great workout.

Mountain biking also gives you a great upper body and core workout due having to stabilize and control your bike on rough terrain. If you want to build muscle while getting in your cardio, biking is a great way to do it.

Stronger Bones and Flexible Joints

Putting stress on your bones when you weight lift or during resistance exercises strengthens the bones and keeps the bones and joints more flexible. A body in motion, stays in motion. Since biking is low impact, it is highly recommended for people who suffer from arthritis, joint pain, or are at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Biking and Your Brain

Biking makes you happy, not only because it’s enjoyable. The chemicals riding through your body during the workout and the increased blood flow and oxygen. Certain hormones are also released which leads to a healthier, more active mind and happier state of mind too.

Improves Mental Clarity

A recent found that biking speeds up your brain’s connections. This means that biking actually improves mental clarity. Oxygen and blood flow are just part of the reason. Other chemicals used in practicing a physical skill also seem to speed up your brain and make it stronger also.

Reduces Stress

Another , which can be found in the Journal of About Diabetes Complications, found that a protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a chemical attributed to relieving stress, increased in people who biked for twelve weeks. This was attributed directly to the lower body physical activity and not to weight loss.

Other Benefits of Biking

It Saves You Money

People who commute via bicycle daily not only improve their health, they save a lot of money. Gasoline, automobile maintenance, license, fees, parking, and insurance all add up. Biking maintenance is simple and minimal and you can buy a decent bike for less than you can purchase a tire for your car.

It Helps the Environment

If you are thinking that most people don’t have the option to ride a bicycle due to distance, that is actually not true. It is estimated that 80 percent of all daily commuters travel less than three miles. This is a very modest distance and is easily biked. Biking helps to and will save you time on your commute.

Benefits the Community

Communities with higher cycling populations have fewer costs associated with traffic and cycling boosts tourism. Biking can also be a great way to raise awareness and money for non-profit organizations. Biking is becoming more popular and local businesses also reap the rewards for these events, bringing more income into the local economy.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!

Biking is a fun way to stay in shape mentally and physically. It also offers a variety of other benefits for the biking enthusiast and the community. If you are interested in biking and have any health concerns, speak to your doctor.

Remember to wear your safety gear and wear bright colored or reflective clothing for drivers to be able to see you better. Stay safe, follow the rules of the road, and enjoy your ride to better health!

 

Image courtesy of [Naypong] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net




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