Here’s a fun fact about May: Did you know that it’s National Bike Month? It’s a fitting designation, as biking is a great way to spend these warm days. Whether you do it as a mode of transportation, a casual activity or a competitive sport, cycling is an activity that reaps many benefits, shaping a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally. Here are a few reasons to hop on your bike this month.
First, cycling is an easy aerobic workout that burns calories and is easy on the joints, which makes it a great low-impact way to exercise. The more active you are, the more you decrease your risk for chronic diseases.
Second, cycling builds muscle. As you pedal, you use the muscles of the buttocks, the thighs and calves to push you forward. Your abdominal muscles keep you upright, and your arm muscles keep the handlebars steady. This makes biking a great full-body exercise.
Next, cycling can ease depression and anxiety because the mind remains focused on the road and the present moment, which can quell unwanted thoughts and emotions. Cycling, like most aerobic exercises, releases endorphins, putting the mind and body in a happier state.
Cycling helps you remain balanced by using your understanding of how your body is acting in space. As we age, our sense of balance decreases, and cycling is a great way to keep it strengthened.
Lastly, even in this time of social distancing, cycling is an activity that can lead to new friendships as you develop a new hobby. Growing your social circle, even under these troubling times, is a great way to improve your mental health.
So, grab a bike and a helmet, and find a road or path near you. It’s the perfect month to do so.