We’ve heard all the talk about biking popularity on the rise. We’ve seen the Lycra-Lads whizzing by. We’ve probably even thought about cleaning the old bike in the garage. But what are the advantages to cycling? Why hop on the saddle and pedal for a few kilometres? Why think again about that old bike in the garage?
1. It’s easy!
It’s like riding a bike. Not just easy to do, but easy on your body too. With no pounding impact on your legs as you pedal, it means your knees, your ankles and your hips will thank you! Running can sometimes irritate joints and lead to injuries, cycling takes a much gentler toll on the body.
2. Weight Loss
Cycling your bike at a leisurely 15kph can burn off up to 500 calories in 60 minutes! (That’s the equivalent of 2 Mars Bars, 2.5 Pints of beer or 4 cappuccinos!) Introducing just a little cycling to your life can have a telling effect on the waistline! A few bike rides every week can also help tone the body, especially the legs!
3. Energy Boost
It has been found that people who cycled 3 times a week at a low to moderate pace had improved their energy levels by over 20%. So, if you’re feeling sluggish, you know what to do!
4. Increased Sex Drive
Now you’re reading, aren’t you?? Even a 10 minute bike ride is said to increase your hormonal activity and boost your… eh… your… (my mother could be reading this!) Either way just go for a ride…
5. Healthy Heart
It’s proven that the more you take part in aerobic exercise, the healthier your heart will be. Introducing cycling to your weekly routine is the perfect way to lower blood pressure and get your ticker in good shape!
6. Improve Brain Function and Memory
Adults who exercise display sharper memory skills, higher concentration levels and greater problem-solving abilities than those who don’t. Our brains perform better and peak after physical activity. By spending a little time pedaling you are improving not only your body, but your mind too.
7. Positive Spin
Anecdotally, there are stories of doctors prescribing exercise rather than drugs to combat depression. In reality, physical activities such as cycling are known to boost the body’s production of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. By exercising, we also regulate the adrenaline in our bodies which can help us to feel less stressed and even allow us to overcome anxiety-filled moments with greater ease.
8. I Spy…
You experience more when touring by bike rather than whistling by in a bus or car. You hear the birds in the trees, the cows in the fields or the waves on the shore, you breathe in the fresh country air and you see so much more. I dare you to cycle a road you drive each day, a road close to home. You can be sure you will see things you had been too busy to notice as you drove by. Slow right down, open your eyes and be present.
So, take that bike out of the garage, give her a good cleaning and hit the road! Or, better yet, get yourself booked into the Top Sports-Based Holiday (CARA Magazine Apr/May 2015) and take on the Wild Atlantic Day with West Coast Cycle Tours!
-Enda (July ’15)