Studies continually reveal links between sustainable, green practices and health benefits to those surrounding or participating in these activities. Cycling as a method of transportation is perhaps the most obvious activity to display such benefits and is certainly one of the easiest to achieve on a regular basis. The physical health benefits of engaging in regular physical activity are pervasive. The positive physical impact of cycling regularly is long-lasting and wide-ranging.
Dispelling the Myths
Research reports that those who engage in cycling on a regular basis live longer and healthier lives than those who do not. This single fact flies in the face of most arguments stating that cyclists will eventually die from head injuries or collision-related damages. Studies have shown that cycling to work is actually five times safer than driving. Compared to the normal, non-cycling individual, the physical condition of any cycler is an average of 10 years younger. The individual systems of the body that experience the positive benefits can be pinpointed and directly linked with this healthy, green activity.
Fine-Tuning Your Body
The immune system is strengthened by regular or even moderate activity of this kind. In addition, the ability of the immune system to target and combat specific cells related to tumor growth is noticeably increased. The health of the body’s muscular structure is also dramatically increased. Cycling, much like swimming, involves nearly all the muscles of the body. The high level of activity and the nature of the exercise requires the entire body in order to exert the proper force, maintain alertness, and achieve balance as one is in motion. Due to the fact that the skeletal system is supported by the muscular system, bones become denser and more resilient. Strengthening the relationship between these two systems also contributes to widening the range of flexibility and motion.
Better than Medication
Cycling on a regular basis also has a positive mental impact. The balance needed to maintain the bike in its state of forward momentum translates into inner balance as well. To efficiently ride, the body must maintain a fluctuating equilibrium between tension and relaxation. The physical activity in relation to this specific cycling requirement contributes greatly to one’s sense of their inner relationship to external stress. This principle is one factor that also makes yoga an effective practice to fight mental strain. The cycling motion itself has a relaxing effect due to its rhythmic and uniform sensations. The stabilization of one’s emotions assists in fighting depression, certain illnesses, and other psychological problems.
Considering that heart disease and high blood pressure are consistently approaching epidemic levels, the ways in which cycling combat these conditions can hardly be ignored. Cycling has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and lower the heart rate of individuals on a daily basis. The result is a dramatic 50% decrease in the likelihood of strokes and heart attacks.
A Positive Step for the Community At Large
The benefits that cycling has to offer extend well beyond the individual, however. An increase in the number of individuals cycling to work produces a noticeable positive effect on the amount of pollution in the atmosphere produced by petroleum based vehicles. Increases in the numbers of individuals cycling on a regular basis also reduces traffic congestion in larger cities, and lessens the cost of healthcare shouldered by a country due to the undeniable health benefits of cycling.
This piece was composed by Ralph Wadsworth, a freelance author, blogger and environmental activist who focuses on eco-conscious living, natural medicine, alternative fuel possibilities and other related topics; if you’re looking into bikes consider the sport bike 250 as one of your options.
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