In some cities, pink-colored kits and hair flowing out of the helmet’s back may be a common sight but it’s not widespread across the nation. Actually, a study from 2009 National Household Travel Survey revealed that just 24 percent of all bicycle trips within the U.S.. were by women. Compare this with other countries, like Germany where nearly half of all cyclists in Germany are women and it’s apparent that although cycling’s popularity is on the increase, we have many miles to go before we can see men and women can share the roads equally.
Cycling is among the most rewarding activities women can participate in, regardless of age or fitness level. Below are 10 compelling reasons for looking around the world from behind two handlebars will bring you body (and your soul) some good.
The benefits of riding a bicycle outweigh the risk
Unfortunately, for many women, the obstacles they face in riding bikes means they won’t be able to enjoy the many benefits it can provide according to professor Alix Stredwick explains. The most important thing is that concerns over security mean that fewer women are cycling than males.
Yet, Cycling UK’s briefing on Road Safety and Cycling declares it: “The life years gained due to the health and fitness benefits of cycling in Britain outweigh the life years lost through injuries by a factor of around 20:1.”
The Space for Cycling campaign, as well as this summer’s Women’s Cycling Festival and other initiatives like “Belles on Bikes are all designed to make a difference in the gender disparity on the cycling scene by creating conditions that women are more likely to join in.
1. It’s great for your heart.
A study by the British Heart Foundation found that cycling 20 miles per week could cut your risk of suffering from heart illness by half. It is possible to achieve 20 miles of cycling each week just by cycling to and from your routine errands or even commuting to work each week once or twice.
2. It’s great for your brain.
The Illinois University study discovered that increasing your cardio-respiratory fitness by only 5 percent can result in an increase of 15 percent in test scores for mental tests. The reason for this is the increased flow of blood into the brain which physical activities like cycling produce.
This flow of blood could also be to blame for reducing cognitive decline, as well as reducing the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Going for a bike ride could also be a great way to overcome any mental challenges. Research has shown that the flow of oxygen boosts the brain, triggering neurons that are responsible for creative thinking and problem-solving.
3. Find new friends
Cycling is a wonderful single-person sport as well as one that connects people. Find an active cycling club in your area and join to go for a ride on weekends. A lot of bike shops offer free rides for people who are new to cycling and hitting the roads with a bunch of people who share a similar interest is a great method to relax and form lasting bonds.
4. Look Younger
The Stanford University study found that regular cycling can shield your skin from harmful UV rays and may even help reduce the signs of ageing. This is to do with the powerful oxygen flow. It is transported with nutrients to cells of the skin and helps rid toxic contaminants. Exercise could also improve your body’s the production of collagen, and can reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
5. Sleep Better
Nothing is more important to ensure long-term health than having enough sleep at the end of the day. Studies have found that the best way to rest is to take a ride cycling on two wheels at least a few times every week. An Stanford University study asked a group of insomnia sufferers who were sedentary to ride for 20-30 minutes on a daily basis They discovered that this regimen reduced the time for the participants to fall asleep by half. The participants also reported sleeping for more than an hour and also.
6. Improve Digestion
Anyone who is active can tell you that exercising can get your stomach (ahem) going in the correct direction. Cycling is not just great to improve your core stability However, researchers at Bristol University found that regular cycling can cut down the time food needs to travel through the large intestinal tract. Also, the increase in your heart rate and breathing can cause your intestinal muscles to contract. This results in easier time in passing stool and helps prevent constipation.
7. Improve Immunity
A ride in the outdoors and breathing in fresh air will keep you away from your doctor’s chair. According to research by at the University of North Carolina, those who cycled for 30 minutes 5 days each week had only half as many sickness days than more sedentary counterparts. The study found that moderate exercise keeps immune cells in good shape which allows them to combat viruses more quickly.
8. Enjoy a more healthy pregnancy
In the past, doctors recommended against exercising during pregnancy, but they’ve learned a lot since then. Regular exercise can not only prevent pregnant women from gaining extra weight, but also studies have shown that it can lead to a simpler labor, less complex and a quicker recovery post-delivery. Regular exercise also results in better in-utero brain development, and reduces the risk of your child being overweight in half.
But, if you intend to ride after the first trimester is over, be mindful of the shift in your center of gravity. This could make it more difficult to ride a road bike. Fortunately, riding indoors is an easy solution.
9. Cycling clothes are a lot better than it used to
In the past 15 years, cycling clothes as well as commuter bicycles weren’t among the trendiest or “fashionable” things on the road (neon spandex, anyone?). However, this argument has become obsolete. The cycling apparel of today has changed, particularly for women. Companies such as Rapha, Betty Designs, Athleta and Skirt Sports offer riding-friendly attire that are able to easily transition from the bike road and into the office. Female-specific commuter bikes as well as fixies are in vogue in the city nowadays.
10. Female empowerment via two wheels
Of all the reasons for health and style to take a trip for a ride the most compelling reason is to feel empowered. Coming in from a bike ride that has your face flushed and your the brain buzzing is one of the most effective ways to begin your day.
The confidence you build through regular cycling will carry over into all other areas of your life, from work family to friendships. At all times, that satisfaction you feel while riding by an individual on your bike is worth every cent.
They are, of course, just one of the many benefits that cycling can bring women. If you don’t own an existing bike, purchase one that is suitable for your goals or needs, and then ask for assistance in adjusting it to your body. Being comfortable on the bicycle is vital for enjoying the cycling as well as the business.
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