When was the last time you rode a bike? If I’m being honest, it’s been quite a few years for myself. Who has time to go for a bike ride? I’m not a kid anymore nor am I a professional cyclist. I have more important, grown up things to do. I don’t have time to waste riding a bike.
Oh the lies we tell ourselves to avoid the things that are good for us. Kids who rode bikes every day were generally in pretty good shape. And guess what…adults who ride bikes every day, or even a few times a week are generally in good shape too. Bike riding, or “cycling” which sounds way cooler, has many health benefits. Here are five key health benefits of bike riding multiple times each week:
1. Improved cardiovascular fitness
That’s right. Riding that bike will improve your cardiovascular health, making it easier on your heart and lungs to breathe.
2. Improved muscle strength and flexibility
Yes, your legs will get stronger, you’ll be more flexible, and less likely to pull a muscle getting off the couch. And let’s not forget that bike riding is a low-impact form of exercise, so it won’t kill your joints. It actually improves mobility.
3. Lowered stress levels
There is something very freeing about riding a bike. As the wind hits your body, you can feel it blowing all the stress in your life away.
4. Weight loss
While you’re dropping all that stress, you’re also dropping some weight. Bike riding raises you metabolic rate helping you burn more fat and gain more muscle.
5. Improved mental health
While riding that bike, you’ll begin to remember your care-free days riding as a kid. It can lower your anxiety and fight off depression. And if you bike ride with your family or friends, even better!!!
Bike riding may seem like something only kids and really serious cycling people do, but that’s not true. There are tons of benefits that you can gain by adding a bike ride to your schedule 2-3x a week. Get outside, get some fresh air. Work those muscles and take a ride with your own kids, spouse, or good friend. Use the time to burn some calories and catch up with others on life. It’s a great opportunity to catch up with an old friend or have a good conversation with your kids about how life is going for them. It’s amazing the relationships you can build by simply riding a bike.
So don’t see bike riding as just something kids and serious cycling folks do. You don’t have to be under 14 years old or ride 100 miles a week in order to get some key health and relationship benefits from riding a bike. And you don’t need a majorly expensive, top of the line bike to reap the benefits. An affordable bike from Walmart will do. There’s really nothing stopping you from adding this low impact exercise to your weekly routine.
If you don’t like running, lifting weights, or massively cutting your diet to lose weight, simply add bike riding to your weekly routine. It’s truly an exercise with many benefits!!!