What happens if you’re biking every day? Is it even good for you? How much is too much?
When you’re starting out, it’s important to listen to your body. If you push yourself too hard too fast, it can lead to burnout or injury. But most of the time, this only happens if you’re training.
For the average person on a casual bike ride, it’s healthy to bike every day! Start off slow and do what you’re comfortable with. Consider replacing your commute with a bike ride instead. Whether you’re a casual rider or a biker in training, biking is full of amazing health benefits!
Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness
Biking is an amazing cardiovascular workout. It gets your heart pumping and speeds up your breath. Other great cardiovascular activities? Jumping rope, running, or vigorous dancing, like Zumba. But all these activities can be hard on your joints. Biking isn’t. So for anyone with arthritis or recovering from a joint injury biking is a great workout! Anyone trying to improve their cardio while taking it easy on their joints should take up biking.
Improve Mental Clarity
Especially if you bike through nature scenery (or on a lake!) biking improves your mental clarity. But the effects are as strong when you’re biking to work. 30 minutes of daily exercise boosts reaction time, memory, and creative thinking. The more you exercise in the real world – not in a gym – the more these benefits improve. This happens because you need to pay attention to your surroundings. Sometimes you have to react on a moments notice.
When this happens, your subconscious kicks into gear and makes the best choices to keep you safe. Our bodies are capable of amazing things. They prove themselves when we get out and exercise in nature. This is something you can’t replicate in a workout in the gym.
Spend Less Time Sitting
Sitting is super bad for you. When you drive to work every day, you’re stuck in your seat behind the wheel for your entire commute. This has long term health consequences, like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Not to mention weight gain. This is the case even for drivers who otherwise exercise daily.
Replacing your commute with biking is an easy way to add exercise into your daily life. Studies show you’re more likely to stick to a habit if you add it to an existing routine.
If you’re starting out, or you have a long commute, you don’t have to bike the full commute if that won’t work for you. Instead, bike to a train station or a bus stop. Park halfway and bike the other half. Whatever you do, make sure it works for you.
Less Pollution Than Driving
Biking in areas with high pollution has always caused people to worry about their health. However, bumper to bumper traffic exposes car drivers to more pollutants than cyclists. In traffic, cars blow exhaust fumes right at the car behind them. On top of that, drivers are still sitting for hours at a time. Cyclists can pass right on by, or take a more scenic nature route.
If you can, plan your bike commute away from busy streets where pollution is the worst. This will be better for your lungs, safer, and more relaxing too. See if there’s a river route or a bike path you can take instead.
No matter what though, make sure you ride safely, follow all laws, and make sure drivers can see you.
Cycling is a resistance exercise as much as it is a cardiovascular one. It takes effort to push the pedals, which is resistance. This builds and tones muscles, especially the calves, thighs, and buttocks.
But cycling also relies on balance and coordination. This fine-tunes the smaller muscles we use every day to balance. Cycling relies on a more natural movement that’s hard to replicate in the gym. Thanks to this, cyclists are less prone to injury than weight lifters.
Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Exercise releases the feel-good endorphins. These endorphins immediately improve your mood, but the benefits add up over time too. Studies show exercise reduces stress, anxiety, and depression over and over again.
But exercise is also an act of self-care and self-love. When you work out, take time to appreciate your body and admire what it’s capable of. Notice how strong your legs feel, the way the air moves through your lungs, how the breeze feels on your face. Do you feel strong? Do you feel tired? The idea is to get in the moment, notice the way your body feels, and be grateful for everything it’s capable of.
This is an effective way to improve your self-image. Couple that with the toned body you get with commitment, your self-esteem is sure to soar.
Biking Every Day Works Wonders for Your Health
As long as you aren’t jumping immediately into a rigorous training regiment, it’s healthy to bike daily. If you can incorporate biking into your daily lifestyle, the benefits keep adding up.
To make biking a part of your daily life, replace your daily commute, or shorter trips you make by biking. If biking alone isn’t practical with your lifestyle, consider investing in an e-bike. E-bikes can help you get places faster and easier than a regular bike. But you still enjoy all the benefits of biking.
Of course, always ride safely, especially when you’re in the city, and know your county’s biking laws.
Are these reasons not enough? Check out 20 more reasons why biking is good for you here!