Now that everyone is spending more time at home due to COVID-19, it can be difficult to stay active. Many states have closed gyms, causing people to change their routines and resort to staying active while at home.It is especially important to stay healthy and active during this time. Biking provides many health and wellness benefits, and it is an activity you can do while remaining socially distant — even for those living in states with shelter-in-place orders (check your local government source for the rules for your specific state).
Read on to learn about the health and wellness benefits of biking.
Benefit #1: Biking reduces stress
Studies show that physical exercise reduces stress and anxiety. According to an article in Psychology Today, a study showed that pedaling for just 15 minutes reduced the stress hormone cortisol in research participants.
These effects are amplified when biking outside in nature. Time outside can help immensely with lowering stress, anxiety, and depression. So if you are in an area where you are still allowed to leave your home, taking your mountain, road, cruiser, or hybrid bike outdoors is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
Benefit #2: Biking gives you a break from the news and digital devices
Being at home all day makes it even more difficult to cut down on screen time. Many people are working from home and staring at a computer all day, checking the news intermittently to keep up with the always-changing headlines. It’s hard not to look at your phone right now because you might be using it more often to keep contact with friends and family who you may not see in person for a while.
Going for a bike ride is a way to break away from all of the noise. You can’t look at your phone or watch the news while riding, so it gives you a moment to clear your head and connect with your body.
Benefit #3: Biking reduces high blood pressure
Keeping your heart strong and healthy will result in a normal blood pressure level. Study after study has shown that aerobic exercise can reduce your blood pressure. What better way to get aerobic exercise than going for a bike ride?
Summit Medical Group cites a study where regular cyclists were found to have an 11 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease. For people who are older, biking is a great low impact way to stay active and keep blood pressure in check. Take your parents out for a neighborhood ride if you are staying with them right now. It will give them a nice break from the indoors, and a boost in their cardiovascular health.
Benefit #4: Biking helps you sleep better (which helps your immune system)
It is important to keep a consistent routine while working from your home. Getting up early at the same time as you would before going to the office, eating three meals a day, and going to bed early all help in maintaining a routine to keep you going. It is still important to get good sleep during a time like this. Did you know that going for a bike ride every day can actually help you get a more restful night of sleep?
According to this article in Bicycling, multiple studies cite that exercising regularly affects your brain in such a way that it reduces anxiety and increases serotonin to help you get better sleep. Without enough sleep, your immune system won’t be in fighting shape, according to the Sleep Foundation. Make sure you are getting in your 8 hours and taking a bike ride around the neighborhood a few times a week to keep your immune system ready.
For more tips on biking safely during COVID-19, visit Schwinn's Biking and COVID-19 FAQ highlight on Instagram.
Remember to always adhere to the WHO's guidelines regarding coronavirus. If you are feeling ill, stay at home. Read the WHO's full guidelines here for more information.