Lifelong Benefits of Biking for Canadians
Spending time in the warm summer sun is one of the best feelings, and Canadians are lucky to have so many beautiful places around us to visit this summer! With gas prices skyrocketing, finding a less expensive mode of transportation is key - so what better way to explore your city than cycling around?
There are so many awesome benefits for your mental and physical health when you incorporate bike riding into your life:
1. Biking is a Great Beginner Workout
When referring to a skill that isn’t forgotten after it’s learned, the saying goes - “It’s like riding a bike”. That’s because riding a bike is easy to pick up and easy to retain!
Cycling is a great way to incorporate fitness into your life as a beginner because you get to set your own pace, whether you want a leisurely ride or a fast-paced workout.
2. Riding a Bike Improves Your Physical Health
Any kind of physical activity 20 minutes a day improves your quality and longevity of life, but biking has so many more beyond that! Riding a bike has so many physical benefits:
- Increase muscle strength and flexibility with a full-body workout that activates all the major muscle groups
- A low-impact exercise for less stress on your joints to improve mobility, and strengthen your bones
- Cardiovascular fitness increases heart and lung health
- Improve your coordination and your posture
- Strengthen your overall immune system health
3. Mental Health Benefits from Cycling
Getting outside, especially in the sun, has been proven to positively affect our mental health! Vitamin D is vital, especially for Canadians that tend to have a Vitamin D deficiency due to our short summers and gloomy winters. When you’re riding your bike it’s just you and the open road, and you can clear your head. Cycling has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress levels!
4. Cycling is a Fun and Cheap Way to Travel
So many European countries use bicycles as their main source of transportation, and for good reason: bikes are a fun way to explore the area you live in! Since you don’t need to pay for parking or insurance, bikes are great for solo rides or gathering a group of friends. You’ll save even more money if you live in a major city like Toronto or Vancouver by not paying for a parking space unlike you would with a vehicle.
5. Biking is Accessible for Many People
While many people are familiar with cycling on two wheels, hand cycles allow people experiencing conditions or disabilities that affect their mobility to cycle. A handcycle is similar in look to a recumbent tricycle that allows the rider to sit back in a laid-back position. The rider's hands power them with velcro straps securing the hands to the pedals. People who use hand cycles experience similar benefits to those who use two-wheel cycles!
With so many great benefits, it’s not surprising that cycling has soared in popularity in recent years!
- Cronkleton, E. (2021, December 15). 12 Benefits of Cycling, Plus Safety Tips. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/cycling-benefits#benefits
- Vitamin D blood levels of Canadians. (2013, January 10). Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-624-x/2013001/article/11727-eng.htm
- Best Cycling Destinations in Europe. (2022). Europe’s Best Destinations. https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/best-of-europe/best-cycling-destinations-for-road-cyclists-in-europe/
- Handcycles & Recumbent Bikes. (2022). Craig Hospital. https://craighospital.org/programs/therapeutic-recreation/hand-cycles