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Many say that you never forget how to ride a bike, so now would be a great opportunity to hop back on your two-wheeler and enjoy the copious amounts of health benefits that cycling has to offer. If you are someone who enjoyed cycling when you were younger, right now would be a great time to bring back those nostalgic moments and revive your passion. “It’s socially oriented, fun, and it gets you outside and exercising,” stated by Dr. Clare Safran-Norton at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

The benefits of cycling include the following: 

  1. Cycling provides an aerobic (Producing oxygen) workout for your body – Aerobic training is great to optimize your heart, brain, and all of your blood vessel functioning. 
  1. Improves your balance and proprioception – Proprioception is “knowing where your body is in space” and this is an important aspect of balance. As we begin to age, balance can worsen, which may lead to falls or other injuries, so it is imperative that we maintain our balance skills
  1. Stress reduction – cycling outside can help your body release your “happy feeling chemicals” which would include serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals in your body manage stress hormones and can aid in reducing the daily stress of your everyday life.
  1. Cycling aids in building muscle – Cycling improves lower body strength and overall function. It targets important stabilizing muscles including the quadriceps (Front thigh), hamstrings (back thigh), gluteus muscles (buttock muscles), and gastrocnemius/soleus (calves)

The centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that every US adult engage in at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week. This will aim to mitigate the rising prevalence of obesity and to improve overall health. Biking is great exercise that can help you attain those recommended activity levels. The more that you remain active, the more you decrease your risk for chronic diseases, and let’s be honest, it’s an extremely fun activity for you and your family. Hop back on that bike and enjoy the ride!

 

Written By: Darrell Dila PT, DPT

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