If you’re looking to develop a new hobby, you may want to consider dusting off that bicycle that you’ve hung up in your garage. In addition to spending more time outdoors, there are plenty of benefits to biking. Check them out below!
You can kick your insomnia to the curb
Americans are chronically underslept. Those suffering from insomnia are more likely to swig coffee to stay awake – as well as battle mood swings, lethargy and low energy. You can help yourself sleep better by cycling for at least 20 to 30 minutes every day.
“Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre told Bikeradar. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”
You can score a date (seriously!)
This study is our new favorite: A survey of 600 men and women in the UK found that cyclists would be the preferred athlete of choice for a blind date. The other benefit of jumping on a bike? You’ll get a boost to your love life. The increased circulation is due to getting your blood pumping, which can help keep your skin looking fabulous!
You can explore your city
If you’re in a city like Boston or New York City, you know there are endless numbers of streets and neighborhoods to explore. You can cycle through these areas to check out a new coffee shop or find a new favorite park. No need to do it on your own. There are plenty of clubs dedicated to bringing together individuals with the same passion, even for beginners.
It’s easier on your joints than running
According to Andy Clarke, the president of the League of American Bicyclists, pedaling is a great option to break a sweat without wearing out your joints.
“Cycling gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without pounding your joints,” he told Men’s Fitness Magazine.
The key is to continue with a smooth stroke – which makes commuting to work or taking a leisurely ride on the weekend the perfect way to stay active. Just make sure you slather on some sunscreen! With the wind keeping you cool, a sunburn can creep up on you, leaving you red before too long.
You can go deeper into nature
Experienced bicyclists don’t need to stick just to asphalt. You can jump onto a mountain bike to do deeper into local forests. They offer shade on hotter summer days as well as the mental de-stressor of being surrounded by nature. Unplugging from technology can keep you feeling calm, which you can bring with you once you dismount until your next ride.
Go find yourself a sturdy helmet – safety first! – and dig out your workout clothes. Then find a playlist you can jam to and a friend to join you – and hop on a bike and enjoy!