If you are looking for an exercise that not only keeps you fit but also allows you to get out into the countryside, then cycling is the one for you. However, although many millions of American own a bike, not many use it regularly.
Women, in particular, are worried about cycling along trails on their own for fear of attack or traffic from cars. That is starting to change in Western Pennsylvania, where people are starting to drive cars such as a Polo Vivo to their favorite trail and take out their bike.
Now, more women are taking to the trails in a bit to keep fit. Whether it is the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage or the shorter Sheepskin Trail, women are getting on their bikes and taking a friend along with them.
Improving Health and Fitness
For anyone choosing to start riding their bike again, there are many benefits to be had. Not only will you be getting some fresh air, but you will also be starting to improve your fitness and health.
Of course, it won’t happen straight away. At first, you will be slow and will probably keep stopping to rest and catch your breath. However, although this is an exhausting time, it will improve.
If you start by doing the same trail for a while, you will notice that you will get faster and less exhausted each time you do it. Eventually, you will probably find the trail easy and be looking for something more challenging.
Boost your Brain Power
As well as improving your health and fitness, regular, moderate exercise has other benefits. Researchers from the University of Illinois found that for every five percent increase in cardio-respiratory fitness, there was a 15 percent improvement in mental tests. The increased blood flow to the brain from exercise boosts new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for memory.
Live Longer and Fight Infection
Another benefit from riding your bike is how it not only reduces your BMI but also keeps your immune system healthy. It means you are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and a range of other illnesses.
You will also better at fighting infection and less likely to keep suffering from colds. The body becomes more efficient and better at keeping infection at bay.
Many Other Benefits
It isn’t just your health that will benefit from your regular cycling; it can also help you to be more focused at work and therefore more productive. You are also doing your bit to save the planet, as you are using your own energy to get around.
Also, because you are losing weight and burning calories, you can afford to have that occasional treat without worrying about the consequences.
There are so many good things that can come from cycling and exercise in general, that is a great thing more people are choosing to hit the trails and get fitter. It can also be a great way to get the whole family out and increasing their fitness. Make sure you have a car so you can drive further afield and explor trials outside of your usual routes.