Family time has turned into bike time for many parents looking to get outdoors and burn off some of their kid’s pent-up energy. The sales numbers show just how hot the bicycling trend has become. Leisure bike sales soared 121 percent in March, according to market research company NPD. Sales of children’s/BMX bikes saw a 56 percent climb. April followed up by setting a record for the first time ever that sales of bikes, helmets, and other bicycle accessories crossed the $1 billion mark in one month.
Bicycling exploded in popularity as gyms closed and commuting to work on public transit became problematic during the coronavirus pandemic. Leisure bike sales skyrocketed more than 200 percent in April, and sales of children’s bikes soared 107 percent.
Whatever motivates the newest bike riders, they’ll find that bicycling is a great sport for all ages and fitness levels. Bicycling lets you go further than walking or running, it’s a little easier on the body, and it gives you the sensation of speed and letting go of pent-up feelings. Cycling is an active sport you can do by yourself that fits within social distancing guidelines. You set your own pace and determine intensity by deciding how much effort you want to put in.
Bicycle outings can be a welcome physical and mental relief from anxiety. Families dealing with the difficulty of quarantine can turn off Netflix and get off the couch and onto their bikes. Endorphins will start to flow as they savor fresh air and sunshine.
Here are five health benefits you’ll enjoy along with your bike ride.
Cycling Builds Muscle
Setting your bike in motion and keeping it upright engages your upper body and core, as well as muscles throughout your body.
Cycling Improves your Balance
Riding a bike can help improve your balance. As we age, balance can decline. The result can be falls, injuries, and a loss of physical activity. We need to maintain our balancing skills to stay active. Cycling requires knowing where your body is in space, which is an important aspect of balance. Cycling is a great way to make sure your body has the basic balance and fitness skills to stay active for years to come.
Cycling can Help with Healthy Weight
Obesity can increase the risk of cancer, including colorectal cancers and postmenopausal breast cancer. The more active you are, the more your risk is lowered for chronic diseases such as cancer. Getting active will cut down extra pounds around the waist, where they are most likely to hurt your health. Cycling burns calories, which can help you stay lean and healthy.
Cycling is Easy on the Joints
Bicycling is a low impact activity, since most of your body weight is supported by the seat. Cycling strengthens the muscles around the knees and can support your knee joints. If you have back or joint problems, ask your doctor if cycling could improve joint health.
Cycling Relieves Stress
Exercising outdoors has the added benefit of releasing serotonin that helps manage stress hormones, which in turn can help you feel better!