Data from Statista shows that bike ownership in the U.S is rising quickly. And as the following 15 benefits of cycling show, there are many good reasons why you should consider joining this trend.
1. Integrate Exercise Into Your Lifestyle
“Fitness” should be more than just those 45 minutes you spend in the gym a few times a week — it should be a way of life. Finding fun ways to make your day-to-day life more active will help you get more exercise in a day and age when only 20% of Americans are getting enough.
2. Give Your Brain a Boost
Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have greater volume in both the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal cortex — areas of the brain which control thinking and memory. Reduced stress, lowered risk of depression, and heightened creativity are also scientifically demonstrated benefits of regular exercise.
3. Go Green
It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in environmental engineering to realize that the climate impact of cycling is exponentially smaller than that of driving. This is one important reason why so many U.S. cities are investing in better cycling infrastructure such as bike lanes, bike shares, and public bike racks.
4. Burn Fat
Cardio exercise is a favorite among those looking to shed a few pounds — and cycling is a much better calorie-burner than running, which remains the most popular cardio exercise for the general population.
5. Cycling is Low Impact
Another big advantage that cycling has over running? It is far less stressful on important joints in the knees, ankles, and hips. For people seeking a low-impact exercise, cycling is an obvious choice.
6. Save Some Dough
Tired of spending so much gas money? (Not to mention all those secondary costs such as insurance, maintenance, and depreciation?) Cycling as a means of transportation could be just as good for your wallet as it is for your body!
7. Make New Friends
Cycling communities are often quite friendly and welcome to newcomers — so don’t be surprised if taking up this new hobby leads to lifelong friendships.
8. Sleep Better
It’s a fairly simple equation — the more exercise one does, the more likely they are to enjoy high-quality sleep on a consistent basis. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in every three Americans is sleep deficient, so tiring yourself out on a long ride could be an excellent decision for you.
9. Improve Your Sex Life
It’s true — if you don’t believe us, just check out the numbers from the American Urological Association’s recent study on cycling and sexual function!
10. Strengthen Your Immune System
Those who partake in regular exercise tend to have stronger immune systems than their more sedentary counterparts — which is great news for anyone who gets sick and tired of being sick and tired!
11. Build Muscle
Last but not least, cycling can actually be great for building muscle — which is perfect for people who want to enjoy the cardiorespiratory benefits of endurance exercise but who worry about the catabolic effects of running.