Cycling is not just about the fun
Cycling is fun. Just this morning I had a lovely ride. A little windy perhaps but then it’s winter, and it wasn’t as cold as it has been lately. So who can complain?
Today I’ve got an article about some of the benefits of cycling – for women. It’s written by Melissa Davidson. You can find out more about Melissa below. (The photos are photos of Melissa.)
Because although cycling is fun there’s a whole lot more benefits than that, for the girls as well as the guys.
Take it away Melissa
Hey ladies, feeling tired or blue? Need some inspiration to keep you motivated? First, my advice is to take a nap. It helps everything. Then, hop on your bike and pedal away.
I can say with confidence, that as time goes on, I enjoy riding my bike(s) more and more, and rely on cycling for a healthy mind, body and spirit. So, before napping commences, followed by pedaling off into the sunset, ponder these 10 inspirational cycling quotes, sprinkled with my own biking Barbie dust.
“Yes, I ride like a girl. Try to keep up.”
You don’t have to be a badass bike racer or hard core commuter to ride your bike fast and hard. Getting your heart rate up to 50-85% of your max for at least 45 minutes several times a week is a great cardio workout. Plus, biking helps reduce body fat, and tone your thighs and butt muscles.
“Studies have shown that riding a bicycle everyday makes you more awesome than the general population.”
You know what else studies have shown? “The best way to gain lean muscle is by doing strength training in conjunction with cardiovascular exercise, such as biking. Strength training will build your muscles and cardio will reduce your fat.”
As we age and head into menopause, we tend to accumulate belly fat and lose lean muscle mass. Maintaining a good balance of cardio and weights is key to keeping healthy through hormonal fluctuations. Weight gain is associated with menopause but that’s mainly due to lack of exercise.
Regular physical activity can also help lower blood pressure, reduce triglyceride levels, and increase good cholesterol levels. Research has shown that women’s health is integral to the overall health and well-being of families, communities and entire nations.
“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.”
Exercise is known to help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Sometimes it’s hard to rally for a ride, let alone think about squeezing into spandex, but once you do, life’s problems tend to melt away (along with the fat), and endorphins work their magic of bringing you to a happier place. As one of millions of Americans suffering from depression, I know there’s not a simple solution to effectively dealing with clinical depression. Riding a bike helps.
“Sometimes I ride my bike nowhere, to see nothing, just so I can ride my bike.”
The best intentions of getting in a quick, heart-racing ride don’t always pan out. I usually know within 20 minutes if my legs are into it or not. When they’re not, I tend to relax and enjoy my surroundings more than I would otherwise. It’s also fun to ride with a friend or two with nowhere to be and nowhere to go. There’s something liberating about not having a plan.
“Sometimes I wonder if my bike is thinking about me, too.”
I actually don’t wonder this, but still think it’s funny. Becoming “one” with your soulmate bike is real, if not magical. The simplicity and magic of riding bikes leads to the next quote.
“Bicycles are secret unicorns.”
If you think about it, the elusive unicorn just may very well “be” the bike. I have a cute t-shirt showing a unicorn riding a bike that paints a perfect picture.
“When in doubt pedal it out.”
Maybe we don’t need therapy, maybe we just need to go for an hour-long bike ride. There’s something about riding my heavy-old cruiser in flip flops that feels grounding and relaxing. Biking doesn’t always have to be an exercise-inducing endeavor.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
A great metaphor for life. If you get off balance, you fall. Maybe there isn’t such a thing as perfect balance, more like a juggling act, but the point is to enjoy the moment, or keep moving forward if things start to feel stagnant. What’s your interpretation of this Einstein-inspired quote?
“Bike to work. Bike to play. Bike tomorrow. Bike today.”
Very Dr. Suess-ish. Totally perfect.
“Life is a journey. Enjoy the ride.”
This is so true. Why not do it by bike? At 42, I’ve spent a lot of time on two wheels over the past 20 years or so. I’ve pedaled my way to work and school as my main source of transportation. I’ve pedaled over rocks and through forests with friends. Climbed big mountains and barreled back down. Competed in my first-ever mountain bike race recently. I pedaled my way to a 70.3 half ironman championship.
Pedal power has gotten me through death and divorce and has helped me find love and strength I never knew I had. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years bring. Hopefully years of happy and healthy riding. If you’re reading this blog, you probably feel the same.
Melissa is a 42 year old avid bike rider as well as a freelance writer based in Boise, Idaho. She currently owns 5 bicycles, down from 7, and can be found pedaling one of her steeds on any given day throughout the Rock Mountain West.