Biking is a great exercise option in the warmer spring and summer months. Hop on your bike for an easy, scenic way to torch calories, improve balance, and simply enjoy time outside – just remember to always wear a helmet. Here are 4 ways cycling is a health-boosting activity:
- It builds strength and improves muscle tone. Cycling is great for the legs, but it’s also a full-body strengthener that benefits your core and arms too. When you ride a bike, you use your abdominal muscles as a stabilizer – constant contractions of these muscles not only keep you balanced, but also help you develop toned abdominal muscles. Riding your bike also helps tone oft-forgotten yet important muscles like the plantar flexors and dorsiflexors in your feet.
- It aids coordination. Riding your bike – even in a leisurely manner – involves your whole body working in conjunction. You must retain balance while also involving arm-to-leg and feet-to-hand coordination while also keeping an eye on the road ahead. Body and brain are working hard to keep you riding strong!
- It improves heart health. A study on behalf of the British Medical Association found that moderate cycling (about 20 miles a week) can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 50 percent. If you cycle for four miles five days out of the week – which takes about 20 minutes depending on speed and route – you’re on track to boost overall heart health.
- It reduces stress. Any type of exercise helps reduce stress, but cycling comes with the added benefit of spending time outdoors and in nature. Breathing fresh air and admiring the scenery is an easy way to reduce feelings of stress brought on by a busy workweek.