A Bike A Day: The Health Benefits of Cycling

health benefits of cycling

Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.
H.G. Wells

Cycling has officially entered the building. Bike share programs are cropping up throughout cities, and mountain biking our scenic areas is now more popular than ever. Biking provides people with a way to get outdoors and to get moving, and the health benefits are proof. Below, take a look at a few of the notable health benefits of cycling:

It’s A Lean, Mean, Calorie-Burning Machine
Biking provides a great way to carve calories and build inner strength. A 130-pound person cycling at an easy speed of 12 mph burns approximately 470 calories in an hour. To calculate the calories you’ll burn on your ride, use Bicycling.com’s handy calculator.

It Keeps Colds at Bay
Regular cycling activity boosts the immune system, preventing the body from falling victim to colds and other illnesses. According to British Journal of Sports Medicine, “Moderate amounts of aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking and cycling, during the cold and flu season will help prepare the body for an invasion of foreign bacteria by stimulating blood circulation and improving the body’s cardiac function.”

It’s Heart-Healthy
According to a recent report released by Cycling England, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Europe, responsible for 4.5 million deaths annually. The Global Burden of Disease Study claims that those who are physically inactive have double the likelihood of getting cardiovascular disease. Conversely, regular activity, such as cycling, “have also been shown to lessen the harmful effects of other CHD risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

health benefits of cycling

It Helps You Celebrate More Birthdays
According to University of Utrecht’s Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, cycling is associated with “gained life years” – Even when taking into consideration that injuries that are possible when biking.

It Improves Your Brainpower
According to Psychology Today, cyclists typically exhibit stronger cognitive skills than non-bikers. The article explains that “being physically active keeps you mentally active,” continuing to reflect that biking can even build stronger brainpower as we age: “Researchers agree that cognitive plasticity in older adults isn’t just possible- it’s very doable.”

Biking also provides us with a way to move our bodies and get outdoors, building physical, mental, and emotional health in the process. According to Dr. Suzanne Preston of South University, “Research has shown that spending time in nature has been associated with decreased levels of mental illness, with the strongest links to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to increased self esteem.”

When you start cycling, you are giving your body the tools it needs to sustain a long, happy, and healthy life.

A Bike A Day: The Health Benefits of Cycling
was last modified: September 23rd, 2017 by Brian Peterson

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