15 Benefits of Cycling as a Hobby
Whether you’re considering bike rides for fun, achieving your health and fitness goals, or balancing your bank account, choosing cycling over other hobbies can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
If you’re uncertain, read on and learn about 15 top reasons that make cycling such a fascinating choice.
Unlike some other sports or hobbies, you need no special skills to start cycling. Most people learn how to ride a bike when they’re kids, and once they learn it, they can hardly forget it. Beginning with this hobby is super easy – all you need is a bicycle, a helmet, and goodwill to start.
Makes You Happy
Even if you’re feeling down and anxious, cycling will boost your mood.
It will get you outside and make you physically active, both of which are crucial ingredients for your mental health and wellbeing.
Cycling improves our mood, reduces anxiety, and helps us fight stress more effectively. It increases the levels of “feel good” chemicals in our bodies, such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and cannabinoids in our bodies.
It Grows Your Social Circle
If you want it to, cycling can be an incredibly friendly activity, and help you grow your social networks and make new friends.
Cycling sportives are popular social events. Apart from being great motivators for getting out of your home and training, they make an excellent opportunity to bond with other participants.
More often than not, it takes a long time to complete the course, and the time will pass quicker if you chat it away with other cyclists.
Healthy Family Time
Cycling is a hobby you can share with your family and ensure you spend some quality time together, strengthening your healthy habits.
It’s great for kids – if they see you doing it regularly, they will think that it’s natural and they’ll want to follow your example too.
It’s also perfect for the elderly members of your family, as it keeps them active but puts no stress on their joints.
Cycling Is Great for Our Planet
Riding a bike to school or work means doing your share of protecting our planet.
A bike produces zero pollution, as it very efficiently transforms the power of our bodies into kinetic energy, requiring no extra fueling.
Perfect for Weight Loss
If you have a few pounds to shed, cycling is just the right hobby for you. In addition to all the other benefits, riding a bike will help you burn calories – depending on the intensity and your weight, you can burn 400 to 1,000 calories per hour.
Plus, riding a bike is a low-impact activity. This means you won’t be risking injuries due to weight-bearing like you might do while jogging.
It Builds Your Muscles
However, cycling doesn’t just burn fat. It also helps you build and strengthen your muscles, especially calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Without too much of an effort, you can get them perfectly toned. For more exceptional results, make your rides longer and more intense.
Improves Your Brain Health
Cycling enhances the blood flow through our body and increases the amount of oxygen and other nutrients in our brain too.
When we cycle, our brain produces proteins needed for forming new cells. By biking regularly, we double or even triple cell production in our brains. Neurotransmitter activity also increases, so different areas of our brains communicate more effectively, improving our cognitive abilities, and keeping our minds sharper as we age.
It Saves Your Time
Using your bike for traveling short distances will help you save some of your most precious resources –time, money, as well as your nerves.
You don’t need to wait for public transportation and worry about being late for work, or sit in your car during the traffic jam.
There is no better way to start the day than getting on the bike, filtering past traffic, and arriving at your destination.
Decreases the Risk of Serious Illnesses
According to NHS, cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
For these health benefits, adults and older adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, while kids and young adults should aim for 60 minutes per day.
Furthermore, many studies show that regular physical activity, including cycling, reduces the risk of cancer – a University of Glasgow research reveals that cycling to work cuts your risk of developing cancer and heart disease by almost half.
Boosting Your Immune System
Cycling has enormous benefits for your upper respiratory system and reduces your risks of catching the common cold.
Moderate training makes your immune cells more active, so they are always prepared to keep infections away from your body.
Plus, if you cycle to work or school, you’re less likely to be catch germs and viruses that are so common in buses and trains.
You’ll Know Your Way Around
If you opt for cycling, your navigational skills will improve. Surely you can use a GPS navigational system, but in most circumstances, you’ll find it more enjoyable to practice and use your natural sense of direction.
As you progress with your hobby, you’ll also try to learn a few more technical skills to make your body go where you want it to. Gaining and advancing skills such as cornering, descending, and climbing can be a significant confidence boost.
You’ll Sleep Better
When you’re regularly physically active, your sleep will improve.
Cycling will tire you and reduce the levels of anxiety, so you’ll find it easier to catch some zzz’s, sleep longer hours, and elevate its quality.
Your Sex Life Will Improve
All the muscle groups you use during sex are developed and strengthened by cycling so that they will feel and look more muscular. Not only will you be more attractive, but you’ll also have more strength to endure whatever the intercourse brings.
Besides, a study found that men over 50 who cycle more than three hours a week have a 30% lower risk of impotence than those who are inactive.
Your every bike ride can be a unique experience. You are out there, open and exposed, you can feel the sun or the rain, the snow, and the wind. It can be quite different from the other activities that keep us in a safe space, grounded and shielded. When we’re on the wheels, we can taste freedom again.
So, grab that bike from your garage and give it a proper service! It won’t be long before you feel all these benefits firsthand!