Stress is one of those words commonly used today by everybody. Not only does everybody use it, everybody has had a taste of it. Unless you’re a caveman who needs a good rush of adrenaline for food hunting and avoiding danger for real, stress seems like of no use to you right? Stress at the right amounts could be helpful. But left alone? Stress can be the reason why you don’t want to move at all even when you have a lot of things to do and work out.
More often than not, people choose to live by unhealthy habits on the onset of stress. They don’t exercise, they eat too much or too little, their sleeps are disrupted and most of the time, you’ll find them grumpy and slouched on a couch watching TV all day or facing their computers 24 hours. That stress person could be you. But the good news is, if you know how to cycle and you got a bike sitting with dust there in your home, then I’d say you pick that bike of yours and start pedaling your way to beat stress.
So why cycle? Whether you’re a professional cyclist, still a newbie finding his/her way to cycling or an occasional biker who loves the feel of the sun or the air, then here are some very good reason why cycling is good for your body especially your mind and your heart.
Cycling powers you up
Sick, tired and/or stressed? You don’t have to be anymore. Studies show that fit people are less likely to get sick because they have stronger body defenses by building it right, healthy and good. Healthy people don’t get stressed that easy and cycling is a good start for you if you want to power up your body. The head of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital’s Sterling Heights Medical Center, Dr. Ronny Otero even said that biking builds your stamina and overall body strength making people who cycle more efficient than those who don’t.
Although cycling strengthens your body and helps you raise your body’s defenses to fight stress, there is also the proper way to do it. You just don’t sit on your bike and carry on pedaling without much thought to your posture. So here’s how you do it right:
- Keep a straight back and an open chest because this helps you pull maximum air right into your lungs.
- Place both of your hands on the brake hoods. Let your arms relax and make sure that your elbows are spaced wider than your hips.
- If you’re a bit short of height, slide back on the saddle. If you’re tall, slide forward. Positioning yourself right helps you generate the maximum force you need for your muscles to work right and work well.
Following these positions also alleviate the stress you’re trying to put in your body making you feel more energized as you cycle even for long hours.
Cycling is a powerful mental boost
You may not know it but hitting the roads or the hillsides on your bike for at least an hour or longer helps you fight Alzheimer’s and stress on the way.
When you’re stressed, your heart beats faster. This is the reason why your breathing is shallow and your body is building up carbon dioxide faster than it should pump oxygen into your brain. Lack of oxygen actually makes you more stressed and to remedy that, cycling would be your best choice in the matter.
Arthur Kramer, study author and professor from the researchers of Illinois University, said that unlike any other aerobic exercises, cycling helps you regulate your breathing and actually allows you to expel lingering CO2 in your bloodstream that in turn boosts blood flow. More oxygen is pumped into your brain and thus alleviates your stress levels to a degree. Enough oxygen boosts your brain receptors and exercise or any other form of it, helps you ward off Alzheimer’s and any other mental stress there is.
Cycling is fun, easy, safe, healthy and brain-friendly
Well you already know how cycling is helpful both for your mind and body. But it’s not all there is to cycling. Aside from building your body’s core and strength, biking is one of the easiest and fun things to do when you incorporate it with the word exercise.
Dr. Lee Green, professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Health system said that cycling is a “sport that can be done pretty much any way you like from a leisure ride to a high-speed, long distance race”.
Almost everyone nowadays knows how to ride a bike and it’s a good thing because this is what makes cycling relatively easy to do. In a sense, biking is a lot safer and healthier than sitting down or staying sedentary because that’s what makes most people suffer from a heart attack, adds Dr. Green.
So I say cycle your way to start living healthy by keeping a sharp, stress-free mind and a healthy body.
Learn more about this topic by visiting calmclinic.