Sore muscles, aching bones, and pains in areas of body that you didn’t know existed. This is the life of an adult trying to get in shape. Going for a quick run isn’t as easy today as it used be and this, among many other reasons, is why cycling is the best sport ever. As our muscles and bones continue to age, finding exercises that not only keep us in shape, but allow us to live to tell, are priceless. As a low-impact sport, cycling has enormous health benefits. While we’ll mention a few below, this article serves to point out some of the incredible benefits of cycling that reach beyond a good muscle workout, improved joint mobility, and increased cardiovascular health.
Getting on a bicycle for a half an hour everyday does a lot of good and it isn’t just because these rides keep you fit. Cycling is truly the bee’s knees and we’re here to tell you a few interesting reasons why. Let’s get pedaling.
- Cycling is home to some of the most groundbreaking creative thinking to date. From artists to musicians to writers, breaking through mental blocks and steering ideas to new places can all happen on two wheels. Promoting the flow of oxygen in your brain, neurons are sparked during bike rides that allow for unbelievable brainstorms and innovation problem solving.
- Getting a bike a little bit each day actually helps you to get a better, deeper night’s sleep. Backed by a study from the Standard University School of Medicine, the circadian rhythm is able to sync with much more ease with outdoor exercise. In addition, stress hormones that thwart regenerative, deep sleep are reduced with a 20-30 minute cycle.
- Your sex life is improved by cycling. Yes, you read that correctly. Physical activity has been proven to improve your vascular health, which increases your sex drive. Can you say couple bike rides?
- Cycling benefits your baby. Sounds crazy, right? Wrong. Getting on a bike everyday while pregnant has been said to boost your mood, make labor much easier, and lowers the likelihood of your child becoming obese by 50 percent.
- Cyclists have more friends. Okay, this one may not be proven, but the social benefits of cycling go without saying. Group rides are one of the most popular ways that cyclists get out on the roads every night. Join a club, gather your neighbors, or start a team of your own – no matter how you slice it, cycling will most definitely help your social life.
- Bike rides get you high. Not the high that you felt in your dorm room ages ago, but a new, invigorating high that will start a serious cycling addiction, and that’s a good thing. “Runner’s high” is a real thing and it of course applies to cyclists. There is a direct correlation between cycling and feelings of well-being. Get on a bike and feel the joys that come from a natural high.
- Forget an extra cup of coffee; cycling can actually increase your bowels. Studies have shown that physical activity plays a role in decreasing the amount of time that it takes for food to travel through the large intestine. This limits the amount of water that is absorbed back into the body, allowing for softer stools.
- Cycling makes you smarter. Around age 30 the mind has more trouble with its memory. Cycling, however, builds up new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that controls memory. The boost of oxygen and blood flow to the brain will work wonders to improve your ability to remember.
- Bicycle riders protect themselves from serious diseases like heart attacks, some cancers, obesity, strokes, arthritis, and depression. From a decrease in body fat to an increase in flexibility and muscle strength, getting on a bike everyday is imperative to improving your overall health.
The “green movement” isn’t the only reason that cycling’s popularity is growing at astronomical rates. Since 2000, bicycle commutes in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States have said to increase by over 70 percent, and that’s just in our country. Worldwide, cycling has seen even more impressive popularity. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pedal into a new lifestyle of cycling.