10 Health Benefits of Riding a Bike

Thinking about using a bike for warm-weather exercise or commuting? During the pandemic, bike shops could barely keep bikes in the stores and parts flew off shelves as people took to the road or trails to escape quarantine. Cycling is not just a beneficial workout for your waistline; it impacts your total health. Still not sure you’re ready to hop on two wheels? Check out these 10 little-known impacts cycling can have on your health:

  1. Improve Sleep Quality

Dedicating 20-30 minutes on a ride during the day can help you fall asleep at night. Cycling can help later suppress cortisol, a stress hormone that can prevent deep and regenerative sleep. Basically, a bike ride shorter than your favorite TV sitcom can pay off in better sleep!

  1. Look Younger

(And who would complain?!) Scientists at Stanford University have found that regular aerobic exercise (such as cycling) can protect your skin against the damaging effects of UV radiation and reduce signs of aging. Riding a bike increases circulation and delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin, giving skin a youthful appearance. Just be sure to slather on the sunblock before heading out!

  1. Increase Brain Power

Cycling helps create new brain cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of your bran that is responsible for memory, which can begin deteriorating at the age of 30 (!!!). Keep your brain and memory strong by pedaling.

  1. Beat Illness

Those who cycle regularly as a form of exercise are at a significantly lower risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity. Riding a bike allows your body to become more efficient at defending itself from germs and producing new cells.

  1. Protect Your Heart

Regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. Those who ride 20 miles a week can reduce their risk of heart disease to less than half of those who don’t exercise at all. With heart disease being the number one cause of death for men and women of most ethnic groups, protecting your heart with fun bike rides is good news!

  1. Cycle Away From the Big ‘C’

It’s been stated that exercise, in general, is helpful in preventing cancer. However, studies have said that cycling, specifically, is good for keeping your cells in working order. Riding for at least 30 minutes a day can reduce risk of cancer by 50 percent.

  1. Lose Weight in the Saddle

While most people know cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise they don’t realize that it’s also a good workout for your skeleton. Cycling puts your body weight on your bike saddle offering a safe mode of exercise for those who may be searching for lower impact workouts. In other words, your bones will benefit, and you can avoid the impact of other high-intensity cardio.

  1. Be Happy 

Riding 30 minutes three times a week can uplift your spirits. Mild to moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that reduce stress and make a person happier. Have a bad day at work? Go for a ride! You’ll be amazed at how you tend to gain perspective as you ride.

  1. Improve Your Lungs

It’s not a surprise that your lungs work harder when you’re cycling, compared to sitting on the couch. Regular cyclists develop a stronger cardiovascular system over time, which allows your heart and lungs to work more efficiently and get oxygen where it is needed faster.

  1. Improve Your Relationships

Cycling is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. No matter the age, anyone can enjoy cycling and the scenery. Choose different areas to explore with the family and appreciate quality time. Studies have also found that children are influenced by their parents’ exercise habits. Introducing a healthy lifestyle to children while they’re young will help lead them to living an active and healthier lifestyle.

Cycling is great for those who want to improve their health. While you might lose weight, that’s just one possible result from this healthy hobby. Biking can change how you feel, sleep, and even reduce your risk of possible major health conditions – all while offering you the chance to see new places and enjoy a fun fitness activity solo or with friends and family.

Body One is here to help you reach your health goals: whether you’re a seasoned cyclist, if you haven’t ridden a bike since grade school, if you’re into a totally different hobby, or none of the above. Our team of expert Physical Therapists works with patients of all ages and activity levels and we’re ready to help get you moving in the right direction. We’re both locally owned and operated, with three convenient locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Meridian, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t settle for anything less than feeling your best, call or click today!