For three weeks in July roughly 200 cyclists will attempt to ride a 3,664-kilometer expedition through four European countries: a journey known as the Tour de France.
Bicycling is a popular low-impact exercise, toning your whole body and scorching calories; but did you know bicycling also exercises and strengthens your emotional and mental health?
If the idea of riding on two-wheels uphill for over 2,000 miles doesn’t appeal to you, rest assured you don’t have to be part of this elite group to acquire the many benefits a bicycle has to offer. Even beginners can find tremendous value from an easy ride just a few times per week.
Slows Brain Aging: Cardiovascular workouts, such as cycling, improve brain health. An Illinois University study reported a 15 percent improvement on mental tests just by biking. Also, unlike jogging, cycling is easy on your joints, making it an ideal way to continue exercising as you age.
Reduces Stress: From a leisurely ride through the neighborhood to mountain biking in the national park, bicycling reduces our stress levels. It is a form of exercise, and exercise, as we all know, triggers the release of stress-busting endorphins. Cycling in nature with the fresh air on your face, buzzing down hills, helps take your mind off of everyday stress and anxiety.
Better Sleep: According to a study done by Stanford University School of Medicine, those who cycled outside for half an hour a day fell asleep twice as fast and slept for an hour longer on average. Sleep deprivation is a high risk factor for depression, anxiety and many other mental health issues, so quality sleep is an important part of good mental health.
Quality time: With our busy lives it can be a challenge finding the time to fit in exercise and quality time with kids, friends and significant others. However, biking offers a chance to combine the two, spending healthy quality time with loved ones while reaching your fitness goal.
Gives You More Energy: You may think that cycling would make you tired and take energy away from your day, but the opposite is in fact true. Riding a bike gives you a burst of dopamine, which actually helps you feel more awake and gives you more energy.