In today’s increasingly sedentary culture, we all know it’s important to move more. However, not all exercises are created equal. Circuit workouts can get boring, while going to the gym can be frustrating. If you find that you’re going back and forth between exercises, or maybe you’re new to exercise and are overwhelmed by all the fad workouts available, it may be time to go back to some of the healthiest, oldest forms of exercise. Among these is bike riding, which can end up being healthier for your body and your mind.
Bike Riding Burns Calories
The calorie-scorching effects of bike riding is just one of the health benefits that sets it apart from other workouts. While the average person may burn around 300 calories per hour by walking, you can more than double that amount by biking for the same amount of time. This is especially helpful if you’re trying to lose weight. The key is increasing the intensity as you get stronger.
Cycling is Easy on Your Joints
One problem with other types of exercise is that they can be extremely hard on your joints, especially the knees and hips. If you are overweight or have preexisting joint problems, then doing high-intensity exercises can cause more pain than good. Cycling, either on a traditional or stationary bike, doesn’t put pressure on the knees, making this an ideal choice of exercise if you’re concerned about knee joint pain and damage. Just be sure that your seat is adjusted to your height, as too-low or too-high seating can put undue stress on your knees.
Biking Builds Muscle
While biking is easy on your joints, it’s equally a great muscle-builder. In particular, regular bike rides will build muscles in your calves, thighs, and hips. By holding in your abs during your rides, you can work on your core muscles, too. Building these key muscle areas not only helps decrease body fat—the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest in between your bike rides, too. Perhaps the most important muscle that will benefit is your heart, which will also protect you from future cardiovascular disease.
Ride Your Stress Away
Exercise in general boosts serotonin and endorphins, which help decrease stress and boost your overall mood. Bike riding outside is particularly helpful because it provides additional benefits that being outside in nature has to offer. For the best results, head outside on your bike at least three times per week to prevent stress.
Bike Riding is Better for Your Financial Health
We spend so much time in our cars commuting, running errands, and heading to social events. Unless you have a car-load of items or passengers though, it’s worth trying to ride your bike instead of driving your vehicle as much as you can. Not only will you reap health benefits, but you will also save yourself money on gas. Remember the stronger your financial health, the lower your stress will be.