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The Surprising Benefits of Cycling

Two people bicycling on a trail
If you’re looking for a fun, low-cost, low-impact form of exercise, consider cycling. But the benefits of cycling reach far beyond a simple form of exercise. This versatile activity is great for family fun, transportation, and preventing illness. Here are just a few ways that cycling can enhance your life.
 
Give your brain a boost
 
Who wouldn’t enjoy a little extra brainpower? Molly Hurford and Jordan Smith, contributors to Bicycling.com, cite studies from 2011 and 2017 that suggest bicycling can slow age-related cognitive decline and ward off neurodegenerative diseases. They also point to a 2014 study that indicates that children, particularly those with learning disorders, can enjoy the cognitive benefits of cycling.
 
Shed some stress
 
There are plenty of things to be stressed about these days — but research suggests that biking can provide some much-needed relief. According to Healthline, cycling can provide you with a rush of mood-boosting endorphins. The exertion of pedaling may also help you work out tension and sleep better.
 
Fun with family and friends
 
Biking is a great way to bond with your family, friends, and colleagues. If you frequently ride around your neighborhood or local trails, you may even have the chance to meet new friends and other cyclists. And if you’re looking for a healthy and fun way to network, cycling gives you a great reason to join a cycling club and go on trips with other enthusiasts.
 
Go green
 
Cycling is more than just good for your health — it’s good for the planet, too. Every time you ride, you’ll cut your carbon footprint while enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of finding a parking spot at your destination.
 
Gain strength
 
Cycling is a great way to build your leg strength, but its body-sculpting benefits don’t stop there. Riding your bike is a great way to tone and strengthen your abdominals and back muscles. And with a stronger core, you’ll enjoy better stability and more support for your spine, according to Healthline.
 
Better balance
 
Regular cycling can help stave off balance loss as you age, so you can prevent falls later in life. The rigors of riding a bike will train you to have better posture and coordination, too. If you’re a new cyclist or an unconfident rider, consider beginning your bicycling journey with training wheels, a three-wheel bike, or a balance bike.
 
Good for heart health
 
Biking is a low-impact exercise that can reap a plethora of benefits — including better heart health when performed in moderation. Hurford and Smith reference a study that followed 1,500 people for five years and discovered that daily exercise reduces your likelihood of high blood pressure by 31 percent. On top of that, Healthline suggests that the benefits of cycling can help prevent other cardiac issues, including strokes and heart attacks.
 
Cycling is a fun activity that can help you improve your quality of life. Before you hit the trail, be sure to read up on traffic rules and wear proper protective equipment, such as a helmet. And before beginning any exercise regimen, consult with a healthcare professional to see if it’s right for you.
 
This article is presented by Oliver Ford Lincoln.
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