A journey towards a healthy and happy You

Could Buying a Bike be the Key to Better Health?

By: Femi Agbaje-Williams February 17th, 2017

It’s about time you got yourself a nice set of wheels.

When I was younger, everyone in my family had a bike. We used to do family bike rides around the local area. After a few long bike rides (think the kind of bike rides where my dad says, ‘It’ll only take an hour’ and it takes three hours!), we got over it. Bikes were great, but why bike when you can get a ride in a nice AC-regulated vehicle, or just walk and skip the whole ‘but where do I put my bike thing’?

In Sweden, people bike an average of 5.3 million kilometers a day. Do you realise how much that is? When I visited Copenhagen, I remember genuinely being afraid that I was going to get hit, by a bike. So what is it with people and biking? What’s so great about a bike?

Muscle-building

Ever seen the thighs on some of those olympic cyclists? They’re insane. That’s all from cycling you guys. Cycling uses the gluteus muscles (butt muscles), the quadriceps (thighs), the gastrocnemius (calves), the soleus (calves again), the hamstrings (back of your thighs), and the flexor muscles (in your hips). That’s a whole lot of muscle  being worked in a single exercise.

Age-defying

Apparently, riding just three times a week for 45 minutes, is enough to make you up to 9 years ‘bioloically younger’. The claim comes from a study conducted by King’s College London, where they looked at 2,400 identical twins. The results from the biking even surpassed the effects of negative influences like smoking and high BMI. Nuts! Want to stay young forever? Cycling is a good place to start.

Eco-friendly

Here’s the obvious info: riding a bike doesn’t pollute the environment the same way cars and buses do. Here’s where it gets weird though. You inhale less pollution riding a bike than you do riding in a bus, taxi, or car. You end up with fewer fumes in your body from riding outside the bus, than if you rode in it.

Fat-burning

You know how lots of workouts these days boast about the after-burn effect? Cycling has that. Not only does our metabolic rate increase during a bike ride, it remains high for several hours afterwards. Who doesn’t like after-burn?

Money-saving

Oh the joys of car-ownership. You save to pay for a license, you save to buy a ridiculously beat up car, then you pay for road tax, insurance and repairs, not to mention gas, to keep the beat up car from dying in the middle of nowhere. Do you know how much it costs to run a bike? Next to nothing. You can buy a decent road bike from Walmart for $200-500, and you literally need air to keep it running.

I don’t know about you guys, but if you can bike it, bike it. It’s an extremely cheap form of exercise that doubles up as a method of transport, while also being good for the environment. You can’t lose!

/Femi, The Girl Who Hates Working Out

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