Here are a few benefits to biking you may not be aware of, along with some obvious ones. Many of the benefits that we discussed in our discussion about cycling benefits are fitness related. Almost any type of exercise is beneficial. For full-body health, biking is particularly good for positive mental health. Cycling is the perfect exercise to take on if you suffer from osteoarthritis, as it is a low-impact activity with low stress on the joints. Cycling does not help necessarily with osteoporosis (bone-thinning diseases) because biking is not a weight-bearing activity.
Mental health conditions like depression, stress, and anxiety may all be reduced with regular bike riding. If you are looking to boost your bone health to prevent osteoporosis, then biking might not be the right activity for you, as it is not a weight-bearing activity. For those who have injuries in their joints that make it difficult for them to run or participate in other sports, biking may be an excellent, low-impact alternative that keeps them active. Cycling helps to build up muscles around your knees without tearing your knees. Cycling does not have that ham-ham-ham-ham sound that you get from running, and that helps to protect the joints. It can be a great way to get your mind off things, but you could also use it as a meditation. Cycling can be easily integrated into your everyday routine, using your bike to get to work every day, or for a quick run to a nearby store.
The easiest way to make sure that you are biking regularly is by using a bicycle as a form of everyday transportation. Cycling to work reduces your commute time, as well as removing you from the confined spaces of buses and germ-ridden trains. Studies have also shown that those biking to work experience between two to three times less exposure to pollution than those commuting by car, and therefore better pulmonary health. Researchers studied more than 260,000 individuals for five years and found that biking to work could reduce the rider’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer by as much as half. As a result, cycling is one of the select forms of exercise recommended by the National Health Service as being a healthier way of reducing your risk of developing serious diseases like heart disease and cancer. It is a simple, pleasurable addition to your mental health first-aid kit.
Beyond the happiness factor and general mental health benefits of exercise, which we discussed here, there are however many specific benefits which suggest biking as a part of your first-aid kit for mental health. Self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and stress are all positively affected by exercise, but it is the nature of biking which is one of the most powerful activities for both mind and heart. Cycling has been brought up time and time again as being especially beneficial to positive mental health: It is easy to access for most of us, and the pacey, aerobic, and low-impact nature of cycling, like other movement skills, has known benefits to the brain.
Increased spending on walking and cycling infrastructure would then increase equity, helping lower-income people and others in need of affordable mobility. Increased investments in separated spaces for biking and walking, and slower speeds in local streets, will decrease car-bike collisions as well as conflict between pedestrians and drivers. Doubling cycling ridership has the potential to improve the safety of all riders, helping make drivers more aware of bikes on the road, as well as adding pressure on those already biking to follow traffic laws. More bicycle users also have economic benefits, estimated to be $1.43 per kilometre per person cycling in Australia in fuel. The growth of electric bikes for sale in Australia has also contributed significantly in the increased number of bike riders every year. Every kilometre that is walking or cycling has economic benefits, by reducing congestion and the operating costs of vehicles, improving health and the environment, and saving money on infrastructure costs. Benefits are compounded when bicycle networks are completed, made denser, or separated from motor vehicles. Research has found the health benefits significantly outweigh the health risks, with one study finding that cycling’s health benefits are 21 times greater than its injury risks.
Many Australians like cycling for its benefits in improving health, as well as its reduction in traffic congestion and air pollution. All of the positive benefits that biking brings as a form of transportation help reduce congestion on roads and create a more environmentally friendly, sustainable future. Cycling has several benefits for children, such as increased health, confidence, and focus. This investment will lead to more walking and biking, leading to many benefits which will come with those behaviours. Cycling may help to protect against major diseases, such as stroke, heart attack, certain types of cancer, depression, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. With gyms, pools and other healthcare facilities frequently closed in the last 18 months, many Australians have started cycling to meet fitness and social needs. The increase in popularity of commuter bikes in Australia has steadily increased over the years.