benefits of bike riding
Bike riding is a popular
sport, but many of us donít find the time to go for many rides even if we have a
bike sitting in the garage somewhere collecting dust!
A thirty minute bike ride
will burn up about 8 kilojoules at a social pace, or 26 kj if you ride at 25 kph
or faster. Compare that to 5kj for a slow walk or 9kj for half an hour of sit
So bike riding is an
effective form of exercise and can be part of a fitness or weight loss program.
But there are other advantages as well.
- Unlike working out in a
gym, bike riding will get you out in the fresh air and in different
environments. All resulting in clearing your mind and helping you relax and
- Riding outside also
exposes you to sunlight which is a natural source of vitamin D and also
reduces seasonal affect disorders.
- Bike riding isnít very
stressful on most of your body, and itís certainly less jarring than going
for a run although a medium paced jog burns a similar amount of energy.
- Bike riding can be
practical. Consider riding next time you need to visit a friend or maybe
even use it as a way to get to work each day. Not only will you get some
exercise, youíll save petrol money and may even save time.
- Make it social. Itís
hard to chat whilst swimming or doing aerobics, but bike riding with a
friend allows for chatting and you can have a picnic or well earned
drink at the end.
- Power. Riding a bike
with the rush of wind in your face can give a real sense of power.
- In the same time, you
can move a lot further on a bike than you can by walking so you can explore
more places and get an extra sense of freedom from the everyday.
- Once you have a bike,
bike riding is cheap. Apart from the odd tyre tube and maybe some
grease, bike riding doesnít cost much for months or years at a time.
- Riding up a big hill or
a long distance is hard work, but once you reach the destination you will
feel exhilarated and rightly proud of your achievements. And unlike some
other exercise options, you can actually see what you have achieved.
- Bike riding gives you
a cardio-vascular workout and also builds leg muscle. And donít forget
that more muscle means you burn more kj even when youíre sitting still!
- If you want an exercise
program that will last, bike riding fits the bill. Some other exercise ideas
become trendy for a while then fade away and youíre left with equipment you
canít use; other exercises wonít suit your lifestyle as you have children or
get older. Bikes last and can be used over many years. Parents can take
their children on rides, or as a break from the children, and older people
can still ride if their balance is ok.
- A Danish study indicated
that people riding for about 3 hours a week have 40% less chance of dying
compared to a sedentary group Ė so ride yourself to a longer life!
- Riding to work may
actually reduce the amount of pollution you breathe in whilst commuting.
Cyclists breathe more than drivers and thus take in a larger amount of
oxygen, according to a European study. Physical activity also reduces the
impact of any pollutants anyway.
- Cyclists have reduced
chances of depression and quicker recovery times if they do develop
depression. This is possibly a greater effect than from other forms of
- Riding your bike rather
than driving or even taking a train will give you more time to observe what
is happening around you. Noticing flowers and trees will relax you and many
other things you see as you ride can amuse, inspire or excite you.
Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner
of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any
business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see
her site and services at www.wordconstructions.com.au