The Benefits of Biking

We all grow up riding bicycles. However, when we reach a certain age, we give up on biking calling it childish and a waste of time. We then start using vehicles and living sedentary lifestyles. For those keen on pursuing exercises, they hit the gym and other similar activities. But you may be too busy to spend hours in the gym for a healthy lifestyle. It is time to reconsider just how much you have outgrown the bicycle since the benefits of biking are far and wide. We are not talking about the bike in the gym although that can serve the exercise part of it. We are talking about the actual bike with pedals that can move from one place to the next.

To derive the very best of results when biking, you need to have as manual a bike as possible. Electric bikes, being the new craze, will not give you the benefits we are going to focus on in this section. Most importantly, biking will make you a healthier person and greatly increase your lifespan owing to the same health benefits.

Benefits of Biking for your Body

Having made sure that your bike has the proper lighting, meets the quality standards, and has good braking mechanisms, it is time to hit the road and reap from those trips on your two-wheeler.

1. ​Faster for city commuting

Most cities in the world have too much traffic that using a bicycle for commuting will get you to work faster than when you use a vehicle. A research study carried out by Citroen in Cardiff city in the United Kingdom revealed that using bicycles for city commuting was at times twice as fast as using a car.

2. Improves the quality of your sleep

The School of Medicine at Stanford University carried out a study which proved that cycling for between 20 to 30 minutes each day reduced the time taken to fall asleep by half, and increased the sleep time by an hour. Knowing that this study was carried out on sufferers of sedentary insomnia is reason enough to know that biking will do wonders to the quality of sleep you will have.

Improves the quality of your sleep

Given that outdoors exercising exposes you to the daylight, it will help your circadian rhythm get back in sync and, better yet, eliminate the cortisol which is responsible for the poor quality of sleep in people.

3. Improves the look of the skin

If I told you that biking makes you look younger, you could ask me why that is so. Actually, Stanford University scientists proved that general exercise would increase the level of circulation in the body. This circulation delivers oxygen at a faster rate to the cells of the skin. It also helps remove the toxins from the skin as the toxins are responsible for the poor look of the skin. Through exercise, the body carries out the production of collagen in the body which is responsible for the elimination of wrinkles and other healing processes in the skin.

4. Helps with digestion

Having exercises will ensure that you have better digestion owing to the fact that it will reduce the time taken for food to go through the digestive system. Besides that, it helps during bowel movements by ensuring the individual has as little water absorbed from the wastes in the large intestine as possible. The aerobic nature of biking exercises improves the health of the heart and breathing system. Better, yet, biking will prevent bloating in the stomach and keeping bowel cancer at bay.

5. Biking improves your thinking capacity

You know those pictures of a brain with muscles? Well, with consistent biking, your brain will feel as muscular as that brain. The University of Illinois proved that cycling and its cardio-respiratory exercises, when improved by five percent, led to better results of up to 15 percentage points in mental tests. The reason given for this aspect is that, when busy biking, your brain will grow more memory cells in the hippocampus. Biking will also keep off Alzheimer’s disease owing to increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain for the regeneration of brain cells.

6. Keeps diseases at bay

Various experts on this issue, including the chief dietician at the St George’s Hospital in London, Cath Collins and researchers at the University of Carolina have agreed to the fact that biking will keep away the stethoscope better than even a person’s diet. If you want to reduce the number of trips to the doctor’s by half, leave the couch and cycle at least half an hour five days each week. These findings focused on the level of cardiovascular and aerobic exercises that biking allows the individual to have.

7. Extending your life

I cannot keep you waiting anymore with this one. Keeping my promise, Dr. Lynn Cherkas of the King’s College London attested to the fact that cycling will help your body defend itself better against diseases that will kill you if you had them. The usual suspects are obesity, high blood pressure, various cancer types, diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases.

extending your life

In fact, if you have a twin and one of you starts cycling 45 minutes each three days a week for the next nine years, the one cycling would have retained their biological age as the one would show signs of growth for nine years.

8. Your sex life will improve tremendously

Rather than secretly considering Viagra and other drugs, biking will immensely improve your sex life to such an extent that you will think it is miraculous. Consistent cycling will give you the sex drive of a man 2 to 5 years younger than you are. It will also delay menopause by between 2 to 5 years which is good news for everyone. It will generally keep impotence at bay better than any other form of exercise owing to its aerobic and cardiovascular focus in the body.

9. Good for the baby

If you are carrying a bundle of joy, biking is what you need to make both of you healthier. The Michigan University carried out a study whose results pointed out that regular biking by expectant women played important roles in the life of the mother and the child. First, it made the labor process less complicated and easier. It also increased the speed at which the mothers recovered from the labor. Biking also ensures that the bad moods associated with pregnancies. Your child will also have half the chance most babies are born with at becoming obese owing to having developed better when in the uterus.

10. Improves your work efficiency

Biking could just earn you a promotion. Biking is among the best forms of cardio-vascular exercises owing to the fact that it engages the respiratory system in a continuous way. For this reason, it improves the ability of the body to supply oxygen and nutrients to the brain when you are working. For this reason, you will be able to work for longer periods of time without needing a break compared to when you do not exercise. You will also be more motivated than the couch potato version of yourself in working. Your ability to handle stress will also be tremendously improved. When you have an active body, you will be able to keep diseases at bay and thus have show up for work on more days due to lack of sick-offs. All these could prop you up for a promotion.

11. Builds a better heart

According to Purdue University research findings, the exercise from cycling will reduce the risk of heart diseases by a whopping 50 percentage points. What this translates to when extrapolated to the whole population is that the bicycle is the solution to preventing at least 10,000 heart attacks on an annual basis. Cycling for an average of 20 miles each week will reduce the risk of a heart attack by more than 50%.

12. Wades off cancer

Cancer will be kept at bay if one cycles for about 30 minutes each day. Cycling even on gym bikes for 30 minutes is also enough to keep cancer at bay. Even in women, cycling will reduce cancer of the breast by at least 34 percent. This aspect works by increasing the working of the cells. When the cells are working well, they are less likely to experience abnormal growth and other abnormities associated with the cells. Studies on cancerous cells have proven that the cells thrive in poorly aerated regions of the body. Cycling increases the amount of oxygen supplied to the parts of the body thus making it hard for cancer cells to develop and grow.

13. Increases your income

Not literally, but if the findings by the Ohio State University researcher Jay Zagorsky are anything to go by, then biking could put you better financial terms. Shedding off one unit of the body mass index (BMI) corresponds to an increase of wealth by 8 percentage points in the wealth.

14. Eliminates the guilt in salt-intake

If you plan on a biking trip with a group of your friends or for competitive purposes, you need to increase the amount of salt in the body. We know you cannot do that by licking actual salt but through foods with high amounts of salt such as snacks like crisps. Without enough salt in the body, the chances of having hyponatremia are very high. Hyponatremia is a condition by which the body has too much water and too little salt and is diagnosed by illness and general level of disorientation. When biking, you have the license to gobble up those snacks without feeling guilty.

15. A good social tool

If you live in a major town then you must have heard of biking clubs and expeditions. You may not be in all the biking gymnastics but have a group of people who just want to ride bikes and have fun. While you tour the hillsides on your machine, you are building long-term memories with your friends. In this way, you will have something to look up for each time the biking trip is around the corner. Biking has also been widely recommended by psychologists as a healthy hobby people can pursue to build bonds. Tandem bicycles are not only fun to ride, they also bring people together by ensuring that they help each other and remind each other of the benefits of working together. Parenting especially between kids and their grandparents has also been seen to benefit immensely from biking expeditions since it will make you a cool grandpa. Do not be surprised why the kids spend every weekend at your house. It is the bike. While you have fun, you will be earning yourself more days to see them grow.

16. You save the planet when cycling

Your bicycle is what mother earth needs to stop global warming in its tracks. For one, your bike requires just five percent of the materials needed to make a single medium-sized car. Besides the zero pollution rate of your bike, you will need bikes from 19 of your friends (plus your own) to pack in the same space as a single car. The amount of energy you sue up in traveling is equal to 2,924 miles per gallon of gasoline. Imagine if our cars went as far on as little fuel!

Conclusion

Looking into the requirements and benefits of biking was a pleasure that allowed me to establish the importance of one of the most overlooked activities in the home. For the most part, you will find that biking in a group will create memories that will last lifetimes into the future. You can have all the benefits listed here and, although many more exist, these are among the best to give you a reason to hope on your bike every so often.

If you have any contribution to make to this article, please let me know in the comments section. It will be really appreciated.

About the author

    Maureen Sledge

    I’m Maureen, and I’m absolutely in love with cycling blogs. I’m a cyclist at heart but being the mother of one small boys, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy cycling… so I rely on the support of other blogging cyclists like me to help along the way.