Cyclists are always talking about how much we enjoy our trips. How we save time and how happy we feel when pedaling. Surely there will be those who think that we are exaggerating, however, a study conducted in Portland, Oregon suggests that the people who are happiest are those who walk or ride a bicycle. Here are 7 surprising reasons why cycling is good.
1. The bicycle frees us from the stress of traffic
For generations the automobile has been regarded as a status symbol. There are even those who prefer to travel by car because they feel they have more control of their time. The reality is very different. If we ask a motorist what he does not like about a normal day, the safest thing is that he will answer us that the traffic.
When we move by bicycle, the opposite happens. The trip becomes a moment of relaxation, in which we can enjoy our city and clear our minds.
2. Riding a bike fills us with energy
The scientific reason why walking, running or pedaling makes us feel happy is because doing physical activity our body releases dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is linked to the sensation of pleasure.
According to a publication in the Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Journal, the dopamine produced, when cycling, increases energy levels by 20% while reducing the feeling of fatigue by 65%.
3. Moving by bicycle is cheaper
People generally carry out their daily activities in a relatively small area. We do not travel more than 30 km to go to work, school or shopping. In these cases, if we consider the costs associated with fuel, parking and maintenance, moving by bicycle is between 50 to 100 times cheaper than moving by car. In addition, the use of the car generates other expenses for accidents, pollution, infrastructure maintenance, among many more.
4. 20 to 30 minutes of pedaling daily will help us sleep better
Being well rested is essential to feel happy. Riding a bike is a good way to get a good night’s sleep. As we already mentioned, pedaling automatically makes us feel happy and relaxed. In addition to this, according to Professor Jim Horne of Lough-borough University’s Sleep Research Center, the sunlight we receive when pedaling helps regulate our biological rhythm while reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone released by stress, promoting deep sleep regenerative.
5. The use of the bike helps us to maintain a healthy brain
Research from the University of Illinois concluded that physical activity through cycling promotes the development of cells in the area of the brain called the Hippocampus. This area is in charge of memory. The participants in this study underwent a series of mental tests. After having improved his cardio-respiratory condition, thanks to cycling for a few months, a 15% improvement was noted in his test results.
6. The bike helps us maintain a strong heart
Another study from Purdue University revealed that pedaling at least 30 km a week can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 50% compared to a sedentary person.
7. Moving by bike exposes us to fewer emissions that are harmful to health
When we move in a combustion vehicle we are traveling at the source of emissions. According to data presented by Raúl Rojas from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain; cyclists are less exposed to emissions from internal combustion vehicles. Especially if pedaling on secondary routes where the volume of cars is much lower.
It’s no wonder that after riding to work or school we always arrive with a smile and full of energy. If you still do not live from these benefits, what are you waiting for? Remember that today is the perfect day to start!