Bodies, Brains, and Confidence: 3 Ways Bicycling is Good for You
We know bicycling is good for us. The biggest, most all-encompassing metric there is — how long you live — shows the cycling literally gives you more life. A Dutch study found that every hour spent cycling adds another hour to your life. A study by the Journal of Sports Medicine showed that the more you cycle, the more longevity you receive; Tour De France cyclists live eight years longer than average. But cycling isn’t just about living more, but better. Here are three ways cycling makes life qualitatively better.
A Better Body
Almost every muscle in your body is used in cycling. Leg muscles are worked most, for pedaling, but your abs and back muscles do the work of stabilizing while your shoulders and arms work way more than you might realize in supporting you at the handlebars. Even your gluteus maximus (i.e. booty) gets worked on the down-pedal. So you are thoroughly exercised, yet in a way that doesn’t stress your joints — a win-win for your whole body, hence the quality of your life.
A Better Brain
A funny thing happened during a study on schoolchildren’s performance that was focused on the impacts of breakfast and lunch — almost as an afterthought, scientists also looked at how kids got to school. It turned out it had a bigger impact than even what the kids ate: those who cycled to school performed markedly better than those who rode in cars. “As a third-grade pupil, if you exercise and bike to school, your ability to concentrate increases to the equivalent of someone half a year further in their studies,” said Niels Egelund, a co-author of the study. This extrapolates to adulthood: several studies demonstrate boosted brainpower in adults, so much so that cycling has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s in the elderly.
More Love Life
So it only follows if you’ve got a better brain and a better body, your love life is likely to also be a bit busier. A Mindlab study showed that cyclists are regarded by others as 13 percent more intelligent, 13 percent cooler, and 10 percent more kind — and a whopping 23 percent said they’d rather go a date with cyclist versus a runner, soccer player, or tennis player.
Written by Morgan Sliff