cycling

10 Physical and Mental Benefits of Taking Up Cycling

Taking up cycling may be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Cycling is great if you want to improve your fitness and health levels according to Cycling UK, a prominent cycling publication.

You can also save money and save the environment by cycling, but it also has many less obvious benefits.

The following ten reasons to take up cycling will have you strapping on a helmet and hitting the road in no time.

1. Save Travel Time

If you live in a major city, chances are that you have spent a large portion of your life sitting in traffic. Commuting by bike can help you reach your destination in half the time of driving.

On average, drivers spend about 30 minutes of each hour during rush hour waiting in traffic, going nowhere. The average rush hour speed is just seven miles per hour, but cyclists can whiz by traffic at average speeds of 12 to 15 miles per hour. This means you can get where you need to go faster by bike.

2. Body Benefits

Riding a bike is great for your health. Cycling increases cardiovascular fitness, balance, flexibility, strength, stamina, endurance, and calories burned.

3. Stress Relief

A proven stress releaser, cycling is good for your mind. Most cyclists arrive at their destination feeling energized and relaxed because of the endorphins released during exercise. Riding a bike is also simply fun!

4. Taking the Scenic Route

People who rely on subway systems miss out on many aboveground views of their city, and drivers experience the world through a window. Cyclists, in contrast, move in the open air, surrounded by the sights, smells, and sounds of their destination. It means that every ride is an adventure.

5. Boost Brain Power

According to a study conducted by Illinois University researchers, the cardiovascular improvements caused by cycling led to a boost of up to 15 percent in mental tests. Cycling boosts oxygen and blood flow to the brain and also stimulates new cell growth in the brain’s hippocampus, the region that controls memory.

6. Improved Immunity

Moderate exercise increases the ability of the immune system to fight off infections. A recent study from the University of North Carolina asserts that cyclists who hit the road for a half hour each day take half as many sick days as those who do not bike.

7. Saving the Planet

Everyone knows that bikes produce zero pollution, but bike production also takes about five percent of the energy needed to make just one car. They also don’t consume gas, emit exhaust or create noise pollution.

8. Save some money

Depending on the vehicle, realistically it takes up the cost (including amortization of purchase price and repairs etc) is between 50 to 65 cents a mile. This figure includes costs like maintenance, gas, oil, and other expenses that increase the more you drive but does not include costs like taxes, depreciation, and insurance. Add in those costs, and the actual cost to operate a car is much higher. Cycling saves you money because the only investment needed is the initial cost of the bike plus routine maintenance.

9. Improved Productivity

According to The University of Bristol shows that people who cycle to work are more motivated, less stressed, and more productive throughout the day.

10. Better Sleep

People who cycle for 30 minutes three times a week sleep better. They fall asleep faster and stay asleep for a long time. Researchers believe cycling is especially effective for sleep improvement because it exposes riders to daylight, syncs the circadian rhythms, and reduces cortisol in the body, the hormone that can prevent deep sleep.

At the end of the day, cycling is chock full of benefits for both mental and physical health. As long as you ride safe, don’t over-exert yourself, and have fun, it’s a win-win. Fresh air, lots to see, and all the benefits that go with it. And remember, just because you’re cycling, doesn’t mean you have to wear the full get-up that some more serious cyclists wear. Just dress accordingly, and if your bike is decent, all will be well. Happy Trails!

 

Author bio: David Fox is the owner of Dot Ninja SEO in Cambridge, Ontario, which is a great town to cycle in.  He enjoys playing music, blogging, and of course, riding his bike on the local trails!

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