Why You Really Need to Ride a Bike
By Genevieve Cunningham
We all know that we need to exercise in order to stay fit and healthy, but actually doing it is a serious challenge for many. There are a million excuses … I don’t have time. It’s boring. It hurts my back or knees. But the bottom line for most of us is that it isn’t enjoyable enough to make it a priority. If this sounds like you, it’s time to take a new approach. Instead of dreading your workout, find an activity that you like, and stick to that. Can’t think of one? How about the classic activity of riding a bike?! Take a look at these great reasons to pick up this favorite childhood pastime to help you get fit and healthy.
It’s Easier on the Joints
When compared to workouts such as running, biking is much easier on your joints. Running requires your joints to take quite a beating as they pound the pavement, but cycling is a gentle, circular motion. When you first start riding, you might notice a little stiffness or soreness in your knees, but that generally goes away once you get back in the habit. In fact, you might find that your joints have just a little bit larger range of motion and are generally more flexible. The key? Stick with it. It will take some time for your body and joints to adjust, but once they do, they’ll likely feel better than they have in years.
It Improves Cardio and Burns Calories
Even though you won’t be huffing and puffing for air (most of the time), you will absolutely improve your cardio health. Riding a bike forces you to pull in more oxygen to supply to the muscles, and your lungs will get an incredible workout as they pull in that air. As an added bonus, cycling can burn massive calories. In one hour, riding a bike at a speed of 8-10 miles per hour can burn close to 1,000 calories.
It’s Adaptable and Fun
One of the great things about cycling is that it is incredibly flexible. If it’s raining or cold, take it indoors to a stationary bike in front of your favorite television show. If you need a greater challenge, take your bike uphill. If you need some company, join a cycling class or get some riding partners. And of course, one of the best reasons to ride a bike is that it is a ton of fun! It’s a low impact, carefree way to exercise, and you’ll likely feel better in both body and spirit after your ride.
If you aren’t currently riding a bike, it might be time to start back up again. Find a bike that suits your needs, start slow, and enjoy every minute. With this classic fitness method, you may finally find a way to get in shape and love your workout all at the same time.