Everyone should learn to ride a bike. It’s as easy as learning to ride…well, a bike. And the thing is once you have learned is not something you ever forget you can do.
Cycling has all sorts of health benefits—physical and mental. It engages your legs, but it’s easy on your joints, and it really does provide a sense of freedom. In case you still need convincing, here’s a list of reasons to hop on two wheels.
1. Increase cardio fitness
The more you ride, the fitter you get: You might feel slow to start, but the more you ride, the better you will feel—increasing muscle mass and cardiovascular perfomance—and the faster you’ll go.
2. Boost your immune system
Riding a bike and getting some moderate exercise can boost your immune system, so you can beat off colds and minor infections much easier than if you were a couch potato.
3. Outside is free
Cycling outdoors doesn’t cost you anything. Yes, there will be those rides in the rain, cold wind and snow even, but there’ll also be rides in the sun and it’s those rides that you’ll look forward to and remember fondly.
4. Sleep better
If you’ve ever done a really hard, long bike ride, you probably remember sleeping like a baby the night after. That’s for good reason: The Sleep Foundation has said that physical activity improves overall quality of sleep—you’ll get to sleep faster and sleep deeper the more time you spend in the saddle.
5. Get high without having to come down
Everyone’s heard of the runners high. Once you’ve experienced it once, you’ll want to hit it again and again and again. The runners high is hard to describe in a meaningful way to someone who’s never experienced it. But essentially, it’s euphoric feeling that may well be wired into us at a genetic level. When you reach a certain point in your ride, the brain releases all these feel good chemicals into your bloodstream, and you feel fantastic, like you could go on forever.
6. It’s a legitimate method of transportation
If you’re headed to anything important, like work, biking is a completely green form of transportation that’s free and provides some great exercise to boot.
7. Have a smoother pregnancy
A study from Michigan University showed that women who exercised during pregnancy had better moods, an easier labor, and faster recovery after. Cycling is a low-impact activity that women can enjoy well into their pregnancies.
8. Get enviable legs
Let’s face it: Cyclists have some amazing legs. Point, made.
9. Get to actually know the place you live
When you ride your bike, you’ll find yourself trying to find a way to stay off the roads. You’d be amazed how much opportunity there is to just explore your local surroundings, or how much of it there actually is when you’re not in your car.