It's no secret that one of the oldest innovations of our time is also a hidden secret to the wellness of our mind, body and soul! Here are our top 5 handpicked reasons why riding a bicycle today will aid in a much healthier future.
STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART
Our dear hearts can endure so much, from heartbreak to clogged arteries, but being kind to them has statistically proven to give us stronger and longer living hearts. Did you know that cycling 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of dying from a heart-related disease by half? And considering over 30% of annual deaths are due to cardiovascular diseases, we'd say those 20 minutes are a huge investment in your well-being. In fact, a study conducted by the Purdue University, United States concluded that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50% and reduce your high blood pressure significantly.
LOWERS THE CHANCES OF DEVELOPING CANCER
Cycling to work not only makes you a more peaceful and pleasant soul to work with but a recent study in the BMJ found that compared to a non-active commute, riding a bicycle to work was associated with a 45% lower risk of cancer.
According to one study of Tour de France riders from the past, cycling increased their longevity by 17% and in another study, it was estimated that 3 to 14 months could be gained on an individual's lifespan by replacing their car commutes with a bicycle.
GET SMART BY INCREASING BRAIN POWER
Who would have thought that there are ways to become magically smarter, just from the simple pleasures of a bike ride. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% in mental tests. Cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus — the region responsible for memory, which in turn makes you smarter and sharper.
With our fast paced lives, our minds are constantly working, sometimes in the late hours of the night where we can't shut off. Insomnia is a real pain, and apparently cycling for just 20-30 minutes a day could be the solution according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine. Their results had proven to reduce the time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour every night. The reason mostly stems from the fact that exercising outside exposes us to daylight and that helps get our circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids our bodies of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep sleep.