It’s great to have different ways to achieve your healthy living goals, but having so many activities to choose from can be overwhelming. All things considered, few options stack up to the 200-year-old bicycle. Why? Cycling can combine exercise, utility, socialization and fun. Whether you’re celebrating National Bike to Work Day today or simply looking to learn more about the benefits of exercise, check out these five reasons to roll cycling into your healthy living game plan.
- It’s a full-body exercise — While you work your leg muscles the most, you use almost every muscle when cycling. Even better — cycling is very low impact, compared to other cardio activities.
- You can work out your mind too — Riding a bicycle outdoors can enable you to experience and explore the world in new ways. Spinning inside? Tune in to an audiobook while you pedal away. Either option can have you seeing and learning new things. Some studies also suggest that cycling may help ward off memory loss.
- Help manage stress — Increasing physical activity through regular exercise can help you manage stress more effectively. Double down on destressing by being outside. According to the New York Times, people who exercise outdoors may have lower levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress. Because exercise is linked to reducing stress, it can also have a positive impact on your heart health.
- Socialize without Wi-Fi – Cycling can help you unplug and socialize. How? While you focus on how to balance, pedal, steer and brake – you’re not scrolling away on your mobile device. Plus, you can ride with your friends and family, all unplugged.
- There’s something for everyone — Indoor, outdoor, roads, trails, fast, slow… You pick! There are endless equipment options too.
Getting out to ride doesn’t require a big production. According to People for Bikes, 94% of American adults who ride, do so from home. What about those American adults that don’t ride now? Well, 86% have ridden at some point in their lives. There’s a reason for the old adage, “it’s like riding a bike.” Biking is simple to pick back up for those of us who have stopped pedaling.
Regardless of why you may decide to ride, time on two wheels is often time well spent. So pump up those tires, grab a helmet and pedal towards your healthy living goals.
If you have any questions about incorporating a new exercise into your routine, the Mercy Health team is here for you. Visit mercy.com or call 513-952-5000 to make an appointment with a primary care doctor.