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Pedaling to Live: The Health Benefits of Bike Riding

By Stephen R. Farris

There's nothing quite as invigorating and relaxing as a morning bike ride along the beach, in the countryside, or on a mountain path. Fresh air, the gentle sounds of nature, it's a great individual activity as well as something that the whole family can be involved in and enjoy -- not to mention the health benefits cycling can do for your body. It helps strengthen and tone the leg muscles, puts less stress on your joints compared to something like running, and gives you a good cardio workout as well.

Bike riding can be enjoyed everywhere and in any climate. You'll still reap the same health benefits no matter your locale, whether it's in the city or out in the countryside.

If the outdoors isn't your thing, then there's always your local gym that may offer spin classes, a type of aerobic workout that can produce the same benefits except in a more intense fashion. There are more great examples of the benefits of bike riding that I'd like to share with you as well.

  • It builds muscles -- Glutes, thighs, calves and even your hamstrings all get a good muscle building workout when riding a bike, not to mention several more muscles in the legs can benefit
  • Everyday activities -- Riding a bike can benefit you in your everyday activities, including the simplest things such as walking, standing, bending and lifting
  • Bone builder -- Short and sweet, each churn of the pedals pulls on the muscles and the muscles pull on the bones

Extra Tips and Ideas

The benefits of riding a bike are virtually endless, but before you dive in, check with your physician or chiropractor to make sure it's safe for you to proceed with the activity. If everything is OK, then the next step would be to choose the bike that's right for the type of riding you want to do. Plus, you'll need safety equipment such as a helmet and the proper attire -- a comfortable seat, riding shorts that are padded in the glutes, and a shirt that allows the pores to breathe.

One final thought: always dress for the weather, whether it's sunny, rainy, snowy or cool. Remember the rule of thumb in colder weather, dress in layers. You can always shred one or two of them as your workout goes on. And now ladies and gentlemen, it's time to get on your bikes and ride to better health!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in West Melbourne, Fla.

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