“So ardent a cyclist must be full of good health.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
A cyclist is full of good health. Riding a bike has a real health benefits. First, it’s low impact. Since you don’t land on a hard surface with every step, you may experience less joint pain and damage…I’ve known a number of riders who used to be runners. They gave up running eventually and discovered they they could continue to get great aerobic exercise by hopping on a bike instead.
It also uses lots of the body’s muscle groups…not only the legs get a workout. Glutes, back, core, arms; all help keep the bike upright and keep it moving.
Riding a bicycle generally gets you to breathe deeper (you can vary the intensity to made it as hard, or as easy, as you’d like!). And a 2014 study actually showed that people driving bicycles were exposed to far less air pollution than those driving cars!
Active people just feel better! Exercise causes the release of adrenalin and endorphins, which may energize you and make you feel good. And the extra activity burns calories…there’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight, but if that’s a goal, cycling (or any other exercise) may help you reach it.
Heart rate: cycling raises it, and is a good way to cut risk of heart disease. Many exercises will do this, and more. Possible side effects of exercise include improved sleep, brain health, and a strengthened immune system.
And here’s a shocker: using a bicycle for those short trips and errands often takes less time than using a car. Think about it. Getting in the car, driving to where you need to go, finding a parking place, walking to the entrance…or…jump on the bike, drive to where you need to go, park right by the front door, BOOM. Many “races” in numerous cities ended with the bicyclist arriving long before the motorist.
Want a little more information about how cycling can help? Check out these articles from Cycling Weekly, Harvard Health Publishing, MDAnderson. Or try it out yourself. Get on your bike and ride!