Riding a bicycle is a fun and rewarding way to exercise. It has many health benefits, but there are risks to bicycle riding as well. Here are the health risks and benefits to riding a bike.
Health Risks of Riding a Bike
Even the most experienced bike rider can have a fall. This can cause a minor scrape of the knee to even more serious injuries like broken bones or even head injuries. This is why it’s important to wear a helmet and other protective gear. Accidents do happen, but the key will be mitigating the damages with proper protective gear, this is what I AM RVA is all about.
The design of your bike could cause some strain to joints and tendons, especially if you are bent over the handlebars. Your shoulders and wrists become vulnerable to having tendon and joint injury when reading in this hunched-over position. To avoid this getting a bike which allows you to sit up straight will be key.
You can develop saddle sores from the seat on the bike. Because it is not designed to properly support us this can be a health risk, mostly on long rides.
Erectile dysfunction has been linked to long extended athletic bike riding in a study done by Dr. Irwin Goldstein, a urologist at the Boston University School of Medicine. Sitting on a bicycle sit affects the sensitive area in both men and women which leads to a lack of blood supply and nerve sensation to the genitalia. This is something that really only affects serious professional cyclers. It can be avoided by limiting your bike riding to three hours a week and having a more supportive seat on your bike. Having the seat at the proper height will also help.
Health Benefits of Riding a Bike
All of those health risks above can really be very easily avoided for the most part, as explained. The fact of the matter is that bike riding is a great form of exercise. It’s even better for many than say running because it puts less stress on your knee and hip joints. You can get a great cardiovascular workout and tone and strengthen your leg muscles all at the same time. Here are the many benefits of riding a bike:
* It builds strength and muscle tone. And not just in your legs. Every part of your body is involved in cycling. Your legs obviously for pedaling, your heart, your arms for steering, your hands for breaking/gripping the handlebars. It’s such a well-rounded exercise.
* It improves the general muscle function gradually. And there’s little risk of strain. It will improve your mobility by strengthening your legs, thighs, buttocks, and hips.
* It builds stamina. Once people get out there biking, they really enjoy it and don’t really realize how far they have biked. You don’t notice the fatigue as much when you’re doing something you enjoy.
* It’s great for cardiovascular fitness. Because cycling uses the largest muscle groups, it raises your heart rate in a steady and strong manner working your heart muscle and improving the blood flow.
* Say goodbye to those calories when you ride a bike. You can burn 300 calories an hour just by riding a bike. Just watch those extra pounds melt off when you start to regularly ride a bike. Just 30 minutes of bike riding a day will burn 11 pounds of fat over the course of a year.
* It boosts your metabolism. Again, as you strengthen those large muscles of the body, you also boost your metabolism.
* It boosts coordination. Since it requires your whole body to remain balanced, you will improve your coordination.
* It’s a stress reducer. Exercise, in general, is a great way to reduce stress and helps with depression, but biking outdoors makes you one with nature. Taking the time to breathe in the fresh air and feeling nature’s breeze is so refreshing and does wonder for the soul.
Riding a bike for fitness might have some things to watch out for, but if you use the right equipment and proper posture, then you will see so many benefits and it will do you a world of good. So get out there and ride your way to a heart-healthy life.