6 Good Reasons to Ride a Bike
There's never been a better time to tune up your bicycle and start riding. Here's why.
Riding a bicycle is one of those things almost everyone learned to do as a kid. Even if you haven't been on a bike in quite a while, you'll be happy to know that once you know how to ride, it's not something you ever forget how to do.
If you're looking for a reason to dust off your road bike or jump on your stationary bike, here is all the motivation you need to start pedaling.
- It's good for your heart and lungs. Like any type of aerobic activity, riding a bike gets your heart pumping and stimulates your lungs and circulatory system. This helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases that can lead to heart failure, heart attack or stroke. It also helps lower blood pressure and improves lung function.
- It helps control your weight. Riding a bicycle burns at least 300 calories an hour (as long as you're not coasting downhill without pedaling). It also helps build muscle and increases your metabolism, helping you burn more calories even while at rest.
- It increases muscle strength. You may think that cycling only works the muscles in your legs, but it is actually a full-body workout. Muscles in your shoulders, arms, back and abdomen are all used to keep you balanced and upright on your bike. The act of pedaling works muscles in your lower leg, quads, hamstrings, hips and butt.
- It improves mobility and flexibility. The more you move your joints, the better they move. Riding a bicycle helps loosen and strengthen some of the largest joints in your body and the ones often prone to pain and stiffness, like hips and knees. As an added bonus, bicycling is a low-impact exercise so it won't put added stress on these joints as you move.
- It's a good stress reliever. Any type of exercise helps lower stress. You'll also likely find that it's hard to be too stressed while whizzing down the street with the wind blowing through your hair. Still feeling stressed? Think back to happy childhood memories and the freedom you felt when you could jump on your bike without a care in the world!
- It saves money. Feeling some sticker shock at the gas pump these days? Ditch the car and ride a bike to get where you need to go when it's feasible to do so. You'll not only get in some exercise along the way but you'll save money, too!
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Date Last Reviewed: March 14, 2022
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS