Is Cycling For You?
Cycling is my passion…. Whether it is yours or you are new to exercise, cycling is great for anyone of any age. Here in Niagara we are blessed with wonderful countryside including but not limited to the Great Lakes, Niagara escarpment and our many wineries. What better way to see these sights than by bike. We have many paths/trails such as the Welland Canal trail, Millennium trail and the Niagara Parkway as well as the many roads I and many other cyclists use regularly to explore the Niagara region. Just remember to obey the rules, use hand signals to inform drivers and other cyclists of your intentions and please ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!!!
Physiotherapists like to look at the health and body benefits of exercise. Cycling fits that bill! Regular cycling helps reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, depression, diabetes, obesity and many other health ailments. Regular cycling is shown to increase life expectancy by a minimum of 2 years and cyclists are shown to have a fitness level of someone 10 years younger. Cycling is low impact which reduces joint pain, wear and tear, improves balance, coordination and stamina and is a wonderful stress reducer.
Please see this short list of proven medical benefits…
- Regular cycling can result in 40% reduction in common colds
- Cycling burns 400-1000+ calories and hour
- Cycling can cut heart disease and certain cancers by up to 50%
- Cyclists sleep better, studies show a simple loss of 2-4% fitness level negatively affects sleep quality
- Cycling, like all exercise, increases brain function. When cycling, blood flow to the brain rises between 28-70% and can remain elevated 40% hours after cycling. These increases have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia in later life
If you don't feel comfortable out on a bike you can always use a stationary bike in the comfort of your own home as all the physical benefits still apply. If cycling is not for you, find your passion as exercise should be FUN. If you need guidance on individualized exercise to support your body, talk to one of our sport physiotherapists at Fortius Physiotherapy, we can help! Please just get up, be active and exercise regularly. Your body and mind will thank you.
Until next time,
Scott Fenwick, PT