Health Benefits of Biking 10 Miles a Day
Biking is an activity that people pursue because of the many awesome health benefits it has to offer. As an exercise, many people enjoy the full body workout that cycling gives them.
For beginners, biking shorter distances is usually recommended. But, did you know that biking 10 miles a day offers many more health benefits?
Biking 10 miles a day will probably take a beginner cyclist around an hour to complete. So, it’s really not too bad. I know, not everyone wants to bike that far every day. Yet, given all the health benefits, it is well worth it. Are you thinking of taking up this activity?
The following are benefits that you should consider while deciding to opt for it:
Good for Your Mental Health
Exercise is healthy for your mind but biking 10 miles a day is particularly beneficial. The Central YMCA in UK did a lifestyle study on it. It showcased that people who exercised regularly scored 32% higher for mental health. This was compared to other people who had an inactive lifestyle.
Biking is favored because it combines physical activity with being outdoors. Solo bike rides also give a lot of people the opportunity to process their thoughts. It is a nice way to think about other concerns in life.
As a stress buster, cycling is also recommended as a great way to improve the mental outlook of a person. Even for people with social anxiety, biking gives them an outlet to socialize in a healthy manner.
Additionally, being part of a cycling group is also beneficial. It is found to be one of the best and easiest ways for adults to make new friends and broaden their social circle. Given this factor, biking 10 miles a day is a great social and mental health improvement activity.
Helps with Weight Loss
With weight loss, any physical activity you undertake should burn calories. This should happen faster than you consume the calories. Additionally, one should consider their metabolism. These are major factors to consider when picking an exercise routine.
With biking, one is relying directly on their anaerobic metabolic system. This contributes to the burning of calories. Harvard University researched that biking speeds also help with calorie burn.
The data showcased that a person weighing 155 pounds can burn the following calories:
- 298 calories within 30 minutes – Biking at speeds of 12 to 14 miles per hour
- 372 calories within 30 minutes – Biking at speeds of 14 to 16 miles per hour
It should be noted that this relates to outdoor biking. For stationary bikes in a gym or at home, the number of calories burned within 30 minutes came up to only 260. It is obvious to see that biking for 10 miles every day will help a person reach their weight loss goal with ease.
Encourages Muscle Building
If you are trying to put on muscle, give the weights a little break and get on your bike. Biking has been found to be beneficial for body mass gains as it helps to train your muscle fibers.
Biking is an activity that helps to build up your leg muscles. It focuses particularly on the glutes, quads, hamstrings and the calves. While you may not get legs like Lance Armstrong any time soon, you can still get a toned and firm derriere with ease!
What is interesting to note is that people who have a higher muscle to fat ratio tend to burn more calories. This is because their metabolism is more active and burns the fat to maintain the muscles of the body. Biking 10 miles every day will help your metabolism to burn fat away.
Less Exposure to Air Pollution
Air pollution is all around us. If you don’t believe so, check out the skyline of any large city on any given day. It is likely you will see smog hovering over the skyline, causing a foggy haze.
But, exposure to air pollution is different with biking. A study was done by the Healthy Air Campaign in Kings College London and the Camden Council on this. They compared the air pollution levels that pedestrians, bus users and cyclists face on their daily commutes.
Surprisingly, the data showed that bus users were exposed to the most air pollution. Their numbers showed that air pollution levels for bus users were 5% higher than cyclists. Moreover, they were 3.5% higher than pedestrians. The scores revealed that cyclists experienced the least amount of air pollution. This is largely because they are not confined in one particular area.
Buses are usually restricted by traffic and people have to sit in one place. Pedestrians also face similar constraints. Cyclists are able to navigate traffic and lower their exposure to air pollution. So, if exposure to air pollution is a big concern of yours, it is a good idea to take up biking 10 miles a day on a regular basis.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease
According to the guidelines by the National Health Society (NHS), exercise reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Biking increases the heart rate and boosts the functions of the cardiovascular system in the body.
This also helps to prevent high cholesterol and being overweight. The truth behind this factor was further explored in a study from the Glasgow University.
The researchers studied the health of over 260,000 people over the course of 5 years. The data revealed that people who exercise are generally healthier. But those who biked regularly, lowered their risk of developing heart disease or cancer significantly.
Biking is a great cardiovascular exercise. It is healthy for the heart as it gives a full body workout. In this case, biking is extremely beneficial. Biking 10 miles a day can make one healthier and boost their heart health substantially.
Improves Navigational Skills
Today, we have a strong reliance on Google Maps and GPS. This means that few people memorize routes and trails. With biking, it is possible to tap into your navigational skills. This is because it is a very low-tech activity.
It is possible to install a bike computer that uses GPS on a bike, but it can be costly and not safe to use when biking. Furthermore, using a phone while cycling is not the most road-safe activity. It can get difficult to multi-task while also keeping an eye on road safety.
This is why, biking helps people develop their navigational skills. Planning out a route can also be part of the fun of this activity. It also helps with their planning and time-management skills.
Due to the busy schedules that people have, if one wants to go biking 10 miles a day, they have to plan their route. They also have to fix their routine and make sure that they have the time to accomplish it with ease. It is also one of the most unique ways to explore a city, especially if you are there for the first time.
In fact, biking is one of the most recommended tourist activities for anyone who is in a new city. It helps a person sharpen their sense of direction naturally. It also allows them to navigate in the city faster and fit into it the city.
Promotes Better Sleep Cycles
Based on how strenuous biking can be, it is no surprise that this activity can improve your sleep as well. Exercise of any kind is known to give this benefit. But the link between biking and improved sleep cycles has been studied thoroughly.
The University of Georgia did research on this aspect by studying a test group of women and men for 35 years. The test subjects ranged from the ages of 20 to 85. The research showed that when fitness activities were dropped, around 2% of men and 4% of women experienced sleep problems.
Biking improves sleep quality by helping one process everyday stressors. It also promotes the release of endorphins that make the body feel good, calm and relaxed. This further improves one’s tendency to fall asleep and also boosts the quality of sleep that they get to enjoy.
The study showed that the steepest decline in sleep quality occurred during the age group of 40 to 60. This is because fitness levels declined naturally at this age. Given this aspect, choosing to go biking 10 miles a day can be a great habit to have. Additionally, it is one of the best ways to tire yourself out completely.
Helps to Increase Thinking Skills
Another factor that is always linked with exercise is brain health. Exercising has shown to increase blood flow to the brain, which improves its health. Exercise is also known to reduce the loss of cognitive functions. This is a serious thing. Little or no exercise can leave one vulnerable to developing neurological disorders like dementia later in life.
But, not all exercise is equal in this area. Standard exercise activities increase blood flow 40%. Biking tends to increase the general blood flow in your brain by 70%. Because of this, brain health and mental clarity will be greater for a person that bikes regularly. If for no other reason, this is a great reason to begin biking 10 miles a day!
Many people enjoy biking because it allows them to think more clearly. For stress and mental fatigue, this is one of the best options. Many people enjoy solo biking for this specific reason. Bike trails are also designed with this aspect. They incorporate a lot of greenery and nature that help to soothe the mind and improve the mood of a person.
Regular exercise also improves response times, active thinking and more mindful actions. This factor alone showcases that biking 10 miles a day can improve the brain function of a person.
Increases Spatial Awareness
Biking is a great activity, not just for mental and cardiovascular health. It also helps develop the spatial awareness of a person. A person can learn how to handle various terrains, cycling in different environments.
This awareness also ensures that a person is safe and understands their environment. It involves learning how to ascend, descend, turn corners and more. A person has to learn about the bike as well as how to handle and use their body weight. But, these skills only develop when a person starts to go biking on a regular basis.
Biking also relies on the gravitational center of a person. Without this, a person will not be able to bike safely. Additionally, if you are going to be biking 10 miles a day, road safety needs to be the number one concern. Many bike accidents are devastating, even with all the safety gear that they have.
By improving their spatial awareness, a person will begin to feel safer. They will have more awareness of the environment around them. It also ensures that they are less likely to be caught off-guard or involved in accidents. Spatial awareness also ties in with the reflexes and thinking abilities of a person as well. All in all, biking helps to make one sharper and more aware of their environment.
Boosts Your Immune System
One of the best things about biking and exercise, in general, is that it boosts the immune system. Biking is an activity that improves the blood flow. It also boosts the heart rate and helps to oxygenate the blood. All these help to boost the immune system of a person.
A study was conducted by Appalachian State University and UNC, which highlighted this factor. The researchers studied a group of 1000 adults that were 85 years old and above. The study showed that regular exercise improves the health of their upper respiratory system.
This factor helped folks to recover from the flu faster. Moreover, it was found that people who exercise take 40% less sick leaves as compared to others. Given this, exercises like walking, running or biking 10 miles a day can help to improve the health of a person.
Biking 10 miles a day will take someone new to cycling roughly an hour to complete. While it can be challenging to bike that far when starting out, one can build up to that distance over time.
There are many health benefits that come from biking 10 miles a day. The benefits covered above were: Better for mental health, Helps with weight loss, Encourages muscle growth, Less exposure to air pollution, Reduced risk of heart disease, Improves navigational skills, Promotes better sleep, Improves thinking skills, Better spatial awareness and Boosts you immune system.
With all these great health benefits, it’s pretty easy to see why biking 10 miles a day can be a beneficial activity to one’s overall health!