To be healthy and fit, you must get physically active. Doing this regularly can protect you from many serious diseases including arthritis, mental illness, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Doctors often recommend running because you don’t need any extra equipment. But what if you don’t enjoy running? Have you considered bike riding?
Bike riding is more than just an old childhood pastime! Biking is a low-impact experience that people of all ages can enjoy. For instance, it’s not stressful on the joints. This makes biking a great alternative for those suffering from knee pain and bone diseases, like arthritis.
Plus, riding your bike is a great way to reduce your risk of developing health problems stemming from a sedentary lifestyle. It’s also cheap, fun, and eco-friendly.
Benefits of Bike Riding
You can use your bike to commute to work or run errands around town. Combining exercise with your normal routine is a practical way of improving your health.
Another great thing about biking is, you don’t have to do it much to see an improvement in your health. Just 2-4 hours a week is all you need. Riding for 20 minutes a day will get you past that 2-hour mark.
Other benefits of this physical activity include:
Strengthens your heart
Biking helps your heart muscles get stronger. It improves circulation, lowers the resting pulse, and more. This increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, and helps your heart pump better. This reduces your chances of getting a stroke and other types of heart disease.
Increases leg strength
Eliminate leg weakness with biking. Cycling targets your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads. It strengthens those muscles without putting a lot of stress on your joints. Not only does this strengthen your foundation, but it also reduces hip pain and knee pain.
Helps with weight loss
Biking is a form of cardio exercise. Doing it habitually can lower the fat levels in the body. There are also studies suggesting that biking increases your metabolism and builds muscle. This helps your body burn more calories, even when you’re resting. Just 30 minutes on your bike can burn over 200 calories!
Helps your cognitive function
Biking signals your body to release endorphins. These chemicals help lower stress levels and improve mood. This can reduce feelings of anxiety, stress, and/or depression. This increases your concentration and focus. Improving your cognitive function can also reduce your chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Improves coordination, posture, and balance
Balance declines with inactivity and age. It’s necessary to stay vigilant about it. When riding, you must stabilize your body to keep the bike upright. This improves your overall coordination and balance. It can also improve your gait and reduce back pain.
Tips to Improve Your Ride
To get the most out of biking, you have to do it for a minimum of 2 hours a week. But that’s just part of the equation. The magic is also in how you do it. That’s why safety and proper technique are so important.
Keep in mind:
- Start slowly: If you’re new to biking, be kind to yourself. Start easy and increase the difficulty as you make progress. It’s recommended you take extra care if you suffer from knee pain. A starting goal of 15 minutes a day is a great way to get your fires roaring.
- Safety is important: Most of us know the common bike safety rules. But they still bear repeating. For instance, it’s important to wear your helmet and ride in traffic. It’s also important to use headlights when riding at night.
Bike riding is a great option for those looking for an easy, effective, and low-impact workout. As long as you start slowly and stay safe, this activity can strengthen your heart, legs, and cognitive function.
At Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab, we don’t believe in treating pain. We pride ourselves on fixing problems. If you need help, email email@example.com or call 570-208-2787.