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Get Fit: 5 reasons to start cycling

Things we're trying: cylcing

As spring rolled around, I was getting antsy to get on my bike. Now that it’s nearly summer, you’ll find me spending a great deal of time on my bike. I started cycling as a form of stress relief 2 years ago. As a small business owner and operator, it can be really overwhelming to wear the many hats I have to wear to run our business efficiently while making sure our product and customer service is top notch. I quickly found cycling to be addictive and the ONLY form of fitness I have been able to keep up on a regular basis and I think you can too!  Cycling not only gets you fit, but increases brain power & creative energy! So, dust off the bike in the garage and pump those tires! Here’s 5 reasons you should start cycling for better health and well being:

1. You’ll trim up for rocking that summer bathing suit
The great thing about cycling is that it can be any pace you want it to be. Start slow and easy and build your way up to moderate or strenuous exercise as your strength and endurance increases. Everything from your arms to your love handles and of course your quads will improve in shape and strength and you’ll notice it quickly if you make an effort to ride 2-3 times a week.

2. It’s a great form of stress relief & mood booster
Time on the bike is often spent alone and that’s a good thing in this fast paced society. Use that alone time to decompress and zone out. Afterwards you’ll find your mood and emotional well-being shifting. Exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy. In addition, cycling is a great time to work out deep thoughts. If I have something bothering me about the business or am trying to make a big decision, I use the best method I know:

 

“When it doubt, pedal it out”

 

3. To live a longer and healthier life
Exercise of any kind is beneficial to staying fit and healthy. However, even moderate cycling has been proven to delay menopause in women (better sex life & moods, ladies!), improve vascular health & regenerate new cells to more efficiently to fight off and prevent infection, illness & disease – including cancer! Multiple studies on the affects of age have been conducted at Kings College in London, one of which states people that cycle are physically much younger (9-10 years) than most people their age staying more active, mobile and alert into old(er) age.

4. Boost your brain, memory and creative power
Cardio-fitness has been known to increase grey matter in the brain. Particularly in the hippocampus, the area responsible for memory. This excerpt on How Cycling Makes You Smarter and Happier by Selene Yeager explains it best.

“Exercise is like fertilizer for your brain. All those hours spent turning your cranks create rich capillary beds not only in your quads and glutes, but also in your gray matter. More blood vessels in your brain and muscles mean more oxygen and nutrients to help them work.

When you pedal, you also force more nerve cells to fire. As these neurons light up, they intensify the creation of proteins like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a compound called noggin (yes, really), which promote the formation of new brain cells. The result: You double or triple the production of neurons—literally building your brain. You also release neurotransmitters (the messengers between your brain cells) so all those cells, new and old, can communicate with each other for better, faster functioning. That’s a pretty profound benefit to cyclists.”

5. It’s fun and you get to explore your places you’ve never seen before by car
It’s no secret I love maps and travel. So it’s no wonder that I also like to explore & track my rides on intricate trail systems. No matter where you are, cycling is fun and allows you to explore trails and areas of your hometown you may never have had the opportunity to explore. I have found myself on longer rides of 30-50 miles that go through the city, the suburbs, over rivers, rolling through farm land, under tunnels and over bridges. It’s amazing how much landscape I have admired and never knew existed prior to getting on a bike. I always feel so refreshed and inspired at the end of a long ride.

Have you recently started cycling or are you an avid cyclist?
Tell us your favorite places to ride and benefits you enjoy the most in the comments below.

Have you done any long bike rides you’re proud of?
We’re looking to design custom long distance cycling maps, rails to trails maps and milestone accomplishments as unique mementos and art.