Gone are the days when it was common to have no idea what “cycling” was. With more and more people registering for triathlons daily, cyclists are riding on the streets and training more than ever. You may even be considering starting cycling as well, and why shouldn’t you? The benefits of cycling are endless:
- Cycling is an easy way to exercise
Cycling is one of those hobbies that doesn’t require a fortune or amazing skill. While there are veteran triathlon and Iron Man competitors who ride for longer, faster and further, anyone who knows how to ride a bike can get on the seat and start peddling away and get a fun form of exercise in.
- Cycling builds muscle
Cycling strengthens you and tones muscle, and not just in the legs! When you spend half an hour cycling, you are toning up your entire body. Without much strain on your muscles, the mobility in your hip and knee joints are helped, too!
- Cycling builds stamina
Regular cyclists frequently end up riding further each time without realizing it. This is great for those wanting to start a healthier lifestyle and want to have fun while doing so!
- Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness
Recent research has found that changing your transportation to work from driving to cycling can improve cardiovascular fitness three to seven percent. This is because doing so requires using many muscle groups at once while raising your heart rate.
- Cycling reduces stress
This one is for those who hold down stressful, deadline-intensive careers and need a way to relax. Exercising in general is known to aid depression and relax the mind when stress has overwhelmed it. Cycling may be the perfect form of exercise due to it’s interaction with mother nature, allowing you to escape reality for just a little while to take in nature and fresh air!
- WEAR A HELMET
Helmets are, fortunately, becoming more used by cyclists, but numbers still show that too many people are still riding without them. Even if you are just taking your bike on a peaceful ride through the park, you should be protecting yourself with a helmet. It’s your only line of defense in crashes, and is as important as wearing a seatbelt at all times. Not only do helmets save lives, but also have a recently-exposed link to a reduction in spinal cord injuries.
- RIDE IN THE LEFT LANE
Too often, drivers of cars get frustrated with cyclists who take up a lane on the road, and will attempt to speed past the cyclist to turn right rather than waiting patiently behind the cyclist. The left lane is overall safer, as there are fewer turns and people will more likely switch lanes completely to pass you.
- HAVE A HEADLIGHT
Headlights for cyclists are just as crucial as for drivers. Your presence should be known on the road at all times, otherwise you risk major injuries. The car is bigger than you, much bigger at that, and invisibility to the drivers is setting up for a disaster.
The Only Con
The pros for cycling, as you can see, are enough to encourage anyone to dust off that bike hanging in the garage and take it for a ride around town. However, it should be understood that cycling is consistently ranking number one for the most dangerous sports, even with a 37 percent reduction in injuries since 1995. Know how to be safe on the road and avoid a deadly encounter with cars!
Lindsay Bradshaw is a content developer for Kyle Law in New Braunfels, Texas. She thinks cycling is something everyone should try!