"It's just like riding a bike!" We hear that all the time, but if you haven't been on a bike lately, it can be a little daunting. Balancing on two wheels takes skill!
Biking or cycling has a lot of health benefits, and even if you haven't been on a bike in a while, it's worth thinking about for your new exercise routine.
As with any exercise, cycling improves heart health. People who exercise regularly are 46% less likely to develop heart disease, and those that bike to work daily are 52% less likely to die from heart disease than those who don't. Biking also lowers hypertension (high blood pressure) which is a leading factor in heart disease.
Cycling gets your heart rate up, so it's considered a cardio exercise, but it also builds muscle. Muscle helps burn fat as well as reduces the likelihood of injuries. Because it is a low impact exercise (meaning that it is an exercise that is gentle on the joints), it is a great exercise for those who already have a lot of stress on their joints or people who are otherwise uncomfortable.
Biking also challenge and strengthen balance and coordination. Staying upright while peddling isn't as easy as it looks! Cycling requires core strength, so your abs and back get strong while biking. Core strength helps reduce leg and back pain, improves posture, and even improves pelvic floor function. Cycling also stimulates regions in the brain responsible for motor learning and balance, improving overall function.
Best of all, it's easy to pick up! The whole family can enjoy biking, and it's not terribly expensive. You can find a lot of second-hand bikes for sale for an even cheaper option. Just make sure to get a helmet, too!
If you or a loved one is in pain, we'd love to help. Not sure if physical therapy is right for you? Ask us for a FREE consultation! Simply call us at 508-650-0060. At FlexPlus Physical Therapy & Balance Centers in Natick and Southborough, we're With You Every Step of the Way.
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