This past week I spent time with my cousin who lives in California. He told me that he rides his bike to work every day. He rides partway and then takes his bike onto the subway, gets off and rides the rest away to his job. This enables him to avoid all of the headaches of traffic as well as getting a good workout.
If you do it the right way, bicycling can be a total body workout. When you stand up you’re engaging your arms and core as well. While sitting to bike, you’re primarily getting a cardio pulmonary work out while also strengthening your leg muscles. There is a new standup bike on the market called Eliptigo which provides an even greater core work out while standing and bicycling with an elliptical type motion. This further avoids any of the potential drawbacks of prolonged sitting on a hard bicycle seat. No matter what type of biking you choose, if you’re going to bike frequently, it is worth it to get a professional fitting. This will go a long way to avoid potential injuries while greatly improving your performance.
In addition, there are great psychological benefits of regular aerobic exercise. It will increase your mood by releasing adrenaline and endorphins. This is what people describe as a “runners high”. Bicyling outside also is a great way to explore your environment and to enjoy the great outdoors.
Many runners also add additional biking to their exercise routine because it is low impact. It can help protect and preserve your joints while providing the strengthening and cardiopulmonary benefits.
So grab a helmet and start paddling! You’ll notice benefits that carryover throughout your day to mood, balance, endurance , stairclimbing, walking and more social contact.