Are you one of those people who throw themselves behind the wheel of their car for even the shortest trip to get coffee? Chances are you know that trading in your four-wheel drive for a two-wheel-operated device reliant on how fast your feet can peddle is good for you.
Just in case you need some extra motivation, we at FEND (the makers of the perfect commuter helmet) are here to give you the low down on cycling benefits for health and the environment alike.
Health Benefits of Cycling
Since this is a pretty huge topic, we will break the health benefits of cycling into two categories. Read on to discover more about the physical and mental health benefits of our favorite way to get to the office.
Physical Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling can absolutely lead to buns of steel and enviable calf muscles, but those aren't the only reason we consider it to be one of the best ways to get in your exercise.
Cycling is Low-Pressure on Joints
Have you been held back from getting in all-important exercise due to diseases like arthritis? You're in luck because cycling is a form of low-impact exercise with very little stress put on weight-bearing joints. That means you can get all the health benefits of exercise without needing to worry about damaging your precious joints.
Remember: to make your cycling experience as easy as possible on your joints, you must adjust your bicycle to suit your body.
Immune System Boosting through Cycling
Has the strength of your immune system been on your mind lately? A silly question to ask while we're at the tail-end of a devastating pandemic. A study looking at 125 amateur cyclists and comparing them to healthy adults who did not exercise regularly found that cycling's anti-aging effect also profoundly impacts the immune system. Keep those t-cells high and mighty through cycling.
Lower Heart Disease and Cancer Risk Through Cycling
An active commute through cycling leads lower risk of heart disease, less risk of type 2 diabetes, less cancer risk, and lower rates of depression (more on that later). One study has found that casual cyclists such as the ones exchanging their seated commute for a cycling commute may add an average of three to 14 months to their life. Maybe we have found the key to eternal life through daily cycling.
Cycling Can Help You Lose Weight and Build Muscle
Do you remember the enviable calves we mentioned before? Cycling regularly can help you lower your body's fat levels and lead to healthy, long-term weight management. They do say you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet, though, so you may need to be making some changes in the kitchen while you're on your way to strutting your stuff on the road.
Mental Health Benefits of Cycling
When you're down in the dumps with your mental health, it can be a humongous task to get outside and exercise. Nonetheless, studies have shown that exercise like bicycling leads to improved mental health and cognitive function.
How exactly does cycling do this much good?
Cycling Reduces Stress
When your body experiences stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which leads to more stress and more tension. This cross-sectional study has found that bicycle commuting leads to less perceived stress. Hooray for feeling better and performing better.
Cycling Reduces Anxiety
Besides lowering the stress hormone cortisol in your body, cycling also releases those wonderful endorphins. Endorphins are known to give your mood a lift and reduce your anxiety.
Cycling Boosts Self-Esteem
When you look good, you feel good, right? Looking good is a pretty subjective experience, but there is something to be said about cycling boosting your self-esteem. Researchers have found that when sedentary people start an exercise regime, they begin to see improvements in their self-esteem in just ten sessions. That's just two weeks of commutes!
Important: We think that cycling as exercise is the bee's knees, but you are most likely to keep up your new exercise routine if you enjoy it. If feeling the wind rush past your face isn't for you, find some other way to enjoy moving your body, even if it's just a little dance while you're waiting for the coffee to brew.
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
Choosing to skip the fumes of a vehicle for the easy, breezy pushbike isn't just something that benefits you and your health. Cycling also helps the health of the environment and the future of all of us.
If we reduce the number of automobile trips we take as a nation, we have a chance to have a significant effect on emissions and fuel consumption. A moderate increase in cycling behavior can reduce between 6 and 14 million tons of CO2 and save 700 million to 1.6 billion gallons of fuel. That's a lot of zeros for a little pollution-free way of transportation.
Let's put that into context. Reducing the amount of CO2 we produce means we have a chance of contributing to slowing down climate change. Reducing our fossil fuel consumption means less drilling for non-renewable resources. All while getting out and about and doing something good for our physical and mental health.
At FEND, we know that the best way to make your cycling commute safe as well as healthy is to ride with a helmet. You're much more likely to put safety first and stop trying to fend for yourself when your helmet is stylish, portable, and comfortable. Our award-winning, patented NYC design is here to save the day and make your commute a very smooth ride.
Check out what a difference the FEND helmet can make to your cycling commute here. Safety is the name of the game, but stylish is our next favorite way to describe the helmet commuter dreams are made of.
Ready to swing yourself in the saddle but a little nervous about the dos and don’ts of cycling etiquette? Don't worry; we've got a guide for you.