The Health Benefits of Riding Your Bike

It’s sort of amazing how little exercise modern man (and woman) gets these days.  Most of us are so busy with work, families, running errands, and managing a household that we can barely squeeze everything in.  So naturally, we put our personal needs and even our health at the tail end of a long to-do list.  But if you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re going to feel lousy and begin to notice a drop-off in performance and efficiency over time.  The point is, you need to make time to do the things that are going to keep you healthy, happy, and at the top of your game.  In this regard, riding a bike can provide many of the health benefits you seek.ID-100289985

Although many people have to contend with a long commute that makes it impossible to ride a bike to work, there are plenty of you out there who live within a few miles of your place of employment, meaning you could be riding to and from work (weather permitting).  Even those who have to travel a ways to bring home the bacon could be using public transportation part of the way and biking the rest (avoiding the gridlock that makes their morning and evening commute unbearable).  Think about it not only for your physical health, but your own peace of mind, as well.

As for the actual health benefits, you can probably guess what some of them are.  Including exercise in your daily routine can help to strengthen and tone your muscles, as well as build muscle and burn fat, boosting your metabolism and helping you to shed unwanted pounds.  Exercise is essential for healthy weight loss and improved overall fitness.  In addition, it can lower the risk for many common ailments associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as heart disease (including hypertension) and diabetes.  And besides improving cardiac function, it can also amp up your respiratory system so that you don’t find yourself out of breath at the top of every staircase.  In short, it’s a wonderful all-around activity that offers many benefits for your physical state of health.

But it can offer more than that; biking can also improve your mental state and change your whole outlook on life.  Hours spent in gridlock and stuck in a cubicle can leave you feeling anxious and depressed.  Moving your body and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors can be surprisingly refreshing for your spirit, bringing back the joy in life that you used to have in spades.  In fact, studies have shown that physical activity is a fantastic way to reduce stress, and the release of endorphins will make you feel great all day.  Plus, exercise can help to clear your mind and exhaust your body so that you sleep better at night, which will help you remain alert and focused during the day.

Of course, one of the best parts about riding a bike is that you can save a ton of money by doing it.  You won’t have to pay for the cost of a vehicle, gas, parking, registration, or automobile or motorcycle insurance.  And the extra money in your bank account will provide a financial safety net that is definitely good for your mental health!

 

Image courtesy of [tuelekza] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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