GO CRAZY BECAUSE SUMMER IS HERE!
We love cycling. And before you chime in that we have just stated the obvious, we would like to say that there are many, many reasons as to why cycling is loved by millions of people around the world.
Take the Coast Cycles team for example. Some of us love cycling because we get a blast out of showing-off our cool bikes while others enjoy hopping onto their bikes because it gets their adrenaline going.
Whatever the reasons, doctors, health experts, trainers and researchers, all agree that cycling has numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. It engages your legs, but it's easy on your joints, and it really does provide a sense of freedom. In case you still need convincing, here’s a list of reasons to hop on two wheels.
1) It enables you to take advantage of a nice day
There are plenty of ways to enjoy a warm spring afternoon, but riding a bike is one of the most active ways to spend your leisure time. According to NutriStrategy, a relaxing bike ride (<16 km/h) burns more calories than an easy walk: 281 calories versus 176 calories per hour. Challenge yourself by powering your way up hills and pushing your speed over 10 mph, but even keeping to a leisurely pace is a great way to supplement an active lifestyle.
2) It’s much easier on your legs, ankles, knees and feet than running
Whether you're recovering from an injury, looking for a cross-training option or hoping to preserve your knees to run a marathon when you are 80, cycling gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without pounding your joints. Running has the potential to take its toll on the body. Cycling, on the other hand, is far lower impact and engages the muscles in the legs without as much force coming down on the knees. So long as you keep your legs pumping on your bike, it ends up being a smoother, lower risk form of cardio you’ll appreciate, especially if you're recovering from an injury.
3) It’s a method of transportation
If you’re headed to anything important, like work, cycling is a completely green form of transportation that’s free (so long as you have a bike) and provides some great exercise to boot. Instead of slouching in front of the steering wheel and cursing rush hour traffic, biking to work adds an additional calorie burn to your daily or occasional routine. The estimated cost of a 16 km roundtrip by car to work is US$40 (including fuel, insurance, maintenance, initial costs and indirect fees), it’s definitely a good idea to consider cycling instead.
4) It’s a lifelong activity.
Even if you’re in amazing shape now, weightlifting and certain exercises aren't going to be so easy years down the line. One of the best things about biking is that you’ll be able to do it long after you have to say goodbye to the weight room. So many people ran for years then just ended up too stiff or too sore when they ran all the time, then they switched to cycling. The great thing about it is you can do it day after day for the rest of your life.”
5) It can reduce stress.
Most scientific research has generally supported the idea that exercise helps to ease stress. Cycling is very much a part of that, but it’s also worth considering that bike commuters have reported lower stress levels than their counterparts using cars and mass transit. A study by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute supports this; a much higher rate of cyclist commuters reported liking their commute than people making their way to work using other vehicles. Just another reason to consider doing a bike commute.
6) It allows you to explore
Most of us fail to fully explore the area around us. Even if you run outdoors regularly and mix up your route often, you’re not getting close to the range of travel and exploration you can experience through riding your bike. Even if you decide to bike in areas you usually drive by, you might be surprised by what you notice and appreciate being outside taking it all in.
7) It gives you a sense of freedom and above all, it's fun.
The moment a kid is able to ride a bike is always a moment of elation and often a defining childhood moment. Cycling may have been your means of freedom in those earlier years, but it might have also given way to the newfound independence of driving a car as a teenager. While driving can lose its novelty when you're sitting in traffic day in and day out, cycling continues to be offer fun and freedom. Enjoy the outdoors like a kid again and hop on a bike.