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7/10/15 at 03:09 AM 0 Comments

Cycling: The Hidden Secret of Happiness

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Cycling, like most sports, is known for having a positive effect on the people who do it. But cycling is special – the health, mood, and economic benefits that one gets from it far exceed the benefits offered by other sports. Those who currently cycle have probably already begun noticing and appreciating these wonderful benefits. You have extra money to spend, you feel less fatigued throughout the day, you are more excited about your life and the things around you. If you are considering cycling, or have not yet tried it, then now is the time, for it is the hidden key to happiness.

Health

It has been proven time and time again that bike riding benefits your health. According to a study conducted by scientists at Purdue University, cycling regularly can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%. On average, an individual who begins cycling loses 13 pounds during their first year of riding, which makes sense – a single hour on the bike burns over 500 calories.

But any sport, when done right, can help you lose weight, burn fat, or avoid disease. However, it has been found that cycling also impacts mental health, making cyclists happier and smarter. Danish scientists recently reported that students who cycled or walked to school did better on tests than their car and public transport traveling peers. And in another study conducted by the University of California in Los Angeles, it was found that older people who cycled and were active had a smaller risk of developing Alzheimer’s than others in their age group who were not cycling.

In addition, cycling is not only good for your physical and mental health, but for the health of the environment. Cycling does not create pollution, it does not require fuel, and it reduces one’s carbon footprint. It has about the same effect on the environment as walking, but allows you to move faster.

It is also important to keep in mind that the health benefits of cycling would be completely wiped out by a cyclist getting in a fatal or life-threatening accident. In order to take advantage of the health benefits, and avoid the risks of cycling in highly populated, somewhat dangerous areas, it is crucial to buy protective bike gear accessories, and have the correct road bike helmets and bike clothing. These will help you cycle quickly and safely.

Mood

Scientists have found that a mere 10 minutes of the bike improves your mood. Of commuters interviewed, cyclists were the happiest, with 66% of them reporting that they are happy with their commute to work, whereas only 32 and 35 percent of drivers and users of public transit respectively said the same. And when you cycle, it generates endorphins, increasing your happiness and bettering your mood for the entire day.

Though cycling, at the highest level, has the ability to take a toll on cyclists, it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective that it is also able to make people feel at “peace.” Originally, when the first humans were expected to perform physically, someone who reached an altered state and could not handle the pain of the task, or who did not have the endurance, would have been at a disadvantage. Cycling capitalizes on a human’s ability to overcome pain and exercise at a high level, increasing the chemistry in our brains that makes us feel calm.

Money

And amazingly enough, cycling also saves your money. In comparison to driving a car, which requires you to pay for gas and insurance, among other costs, cycling saves you more than $10,000 per year. And because bike upkeep and maintenance costs are generally low, you can be confident that you are not spending your time at work earning money to pay off your commute.

Cycling has other unlisted benefits, such as the highly social aspect of the sport, and the ability to participate in it both recreationally and competitively. Though any activity can pose somewhat of a threat, assuming that you have the right gear and are sure to wear a helmet, it is indubitable that you will get to experience the many positive effects of the cycling.

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).