In community, Fun, Health, Northwest Rides

As it gets cold and wet outside, it may be tempting to hang up the helmet and call the riding season over. It’s getting slightly miserable out there, and it seems like only the crazy would be pedaling on the streets this time of year. (we should know, we deliver in all kinds of weather!)

Even if you choose not to commute by bike while it’s wet out, that doesn’t mean you should stop riding entirely. After all, it’s not like we cycle purely for the sake of getting from point A to point B!

Here are a few reasons to keep cycling, even if it means getting a little wet during your trip:

Cycling is good for your muscles: If you’ve been on a bike for more than a few minutes, you should be familiar with a burning sensation in your legs. This is, of course, a good thing. Cycling is great for improving the muscles in your thighs, calves, and rear.

Cycling can help with joint conditions: Because cycling is considered a low-impact form of exercise, it can be especially beneficial for those who can’t take part in other higher impact exercises (jogging for example).

Cycling increases lifespan: Cycling has been linked to improving cardiovascular health, and drastically decreases your risk of heart disease. According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. Discovery Magazine even writes cycling can improve your immune system, and has even shown evidence of fighting cancer. Even when adjusted for risk of injury, cycling has associate with increasing “life-years.”

Cycling improves the waistline: On an average ride, a cyclist will burn approximately 300 calories per hour. An average person will burn approximately 11 pounds of unhealthy fat per year, while building muscle mass and increasing your metabolic rate.

Cycling improves mental health: While the physical health benefits are usually very apparent, few consider the mental benefits behind riding a bike. Bicycling has been proven to reduce stress and increase hand-eye coordination among those who choose to cycle a mere 30 minutes a day. The Journal of Occupational Health published an article showing cycling significantly improved mental health among those who choose to commute daily to work.

At the end of the day though, it comes down to your comfort level of riding in bad weather. If rain is coming down sideways, maybe sit the day out and give us a call! We can drop by your favorite food cart, so you can stay dry indoors.