I have to say that this is one of my favorite topics to write a post about. I absolutely love biking. I used to bike very often as a kid, and in the past few years, I have rediscovered how much fun it really is, and it is a big reason why I have gotten in much healthier shape. It is currently my favorite outdoor activity to take part in, and the list of beneficial aspects to biking is huge. So I decided to create this list of important reasons why you should consider biking:
I have to say, I have a hard time doing cardio inside of a gym. To me, it’s not very motivating to stare at a wall while running or cycling still. Biking was the perfect solution. It is much more entertaining to roam outside than it is to do cardio inside. Plus, biking doesn’t make you tired as quickly. This is because when you bike, you are not running against the clock. For example, when you do cardio on a stair master let’s say, you will always be tempted to look at how much time is left, because you are doing this activity for cardio. When I bike, I do it for a variety of reasons, which I will point out below, but cardio is just one of the perks, not the main reason why I do it. I don’t time myself when I bike, so the cardio I end up doing is longer, and provides better results. It really makes your cardio routine so much more enjoyable.
There are so many health benefits to biking, that I will probably miss naming out a few. If you want to improve your health, this is the one activity to do that can really transform you back into great shape. I speak from experience. I noticed vast differences in my energy and mood, as well as in my body shape after just a few weeks of biking. Here are some of the health benefits you are looking to gain by biking:
- reduces the cholesterol levels in the blood
- reduces the chances of strokes and heart attacks caused by clotting
- reduces the chances of illnesses caused by high blood pressure
- reduces the chances of diabetes
- helps you gain more energy
- makes you sleep better, helps cure insomnia
- strengthens your bones
- helps with coordination
- reduces the risk of cancer
- lowers your resting heart rate
- reduces body fat
- helps reduce stress & anxiety
- increases mental & emotional well being
- lengthens your life expectancy
- helps get you to your ideal body weight
Makes you drink more water
If you have trouble drinking those recommended glasses of water per day that we all know about, biking will solve that problem easily. I can drink the equivalent of 3-4 glasses of water per 1 hour bike ride. So going for a bike ride daily also provides me with the added benefits that drinking plenty of water has. It’s a win-win situation. Make sure to always carry water with you, as you can get tired much more easily if you are dehydrated. Drink water throughout your ride and you will have more energy and last longer.
Another reason why I prefer this than being indoors in a gym. You get to breathe more fresh air which makes you feel better and puts you in a better mood. If you are concerned about pollution in your city, you should be aware that you inhale more pollution driving a car than you do biking. Fresh air helps clean out your lungs, which helps you breathe deeper and this can result in increased energy and brings greater clarity to the brain. Your brain requires about 20% of the oxygen you breathe in, so the fresher it is (as compared to indoors air which can be full of dust), the better results you will get.
Helps find new places
I can’t tell you how many places I have found while biking, that I was never aware of when driving. Such parks, trails, and areas that you aren’t inclined to notice when you are in a car. These are places that you can go to for picnics, play other sports, read a book, etc. If you ever wondered what’s going on in your neighborhood, take a bike ride, and you will find so much more about where you live.
Meet new people
You will be surprised how many people are biking out there. I know I was in my region. It’s a great way to get to know people that live in your area and that are like-minded. If you are ever looking for a new way to meet people, this a great one, which is not awkward or uncomfortable. Plus you already have something in common to break the ice about.
Maybe I am in the minority here, but I find bikes more convenient than cars for short distances. I find that I have more ways to get somewhere via a bike. Plus, you are never stuck in a traffic jam. Did you know that 40% of trips are within 2 km of home? It would be much more efficient if you used a bike, which along with all other benefits listed in this post, makes it a clear winner for convenience overall in my book. Apparently, the bike is the most efficient form of transportation ever invented.
Do I even have to mention the gas prices we have nowadays? With soaring prices that seem to never hit a plateau, and with hybrid cars still in the minority and still relatively more expensive, taking a bike for quick errands here and there within your neighborhood could literally save you hundreds of dollars per year. Think about the parking costs you can save up as well! These can add up enormously, and with the cost of filling up your car near or over $100, I think more people should look at biking, especially for quick trips to the store nearby and the likes.
There are tons of benefits to the environment if you bike. For example, it reduces air pollution. Biking for 4 miles keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Bikes don’t drip brake fluid, transmission fluid or anti freeze, so there is less water pollution as well. Think about noise pollution! Bikes are quiet and non-obnoxious. Bikes cause less road wear, and thus help prevent the addition of more asphalt and concrete into the environment. If you truly care about your CO2 emissions and its effect on climate changes, taking your bike instead of your car, even for just a few instances, greatly helps in reducing the amount of pollution spread into the atmosphere. We can all do our little part into this global problem, and biking can helps us do just that ;)