bicycling on a bridgeOn a cold, rainy morning, it can be difficult to muster up the energy to bike to work. Driving to work inside your warm car seems infinitely more appealing than biking on mornings like this. Of course, not everyone has the option of biking to work, but thankfully, here in the state of Washington, we have access to an impressive number of bike lanes, making it both easy and safe for us to bike to many different places.

While gas prices are currently rather low, they’ll inevitably hike back up eventually. Yet regardless of how expensive it is to fill up your car, it’s undeniably cheaper to just hop on your bicycle instead. Tolls, gas stations and the auto shop will be a thing of the past once you begin cycling. You also won’t need to do any more cardio workouts at the gym, as cycling boasts a number of different health benefits, in addition to financial benefits:

1) Improves cardiovascular fitness

Like any cardiovascular/aerobic workout, your lungs and heart are working at an increased rate while you’re biking to deliver oxygen to your muscles. Over time, bicycling will improve the condition of your heart and lungs, which are both instrumental for increasing your longevity.

2) Improves posture, flexibility, and coordination

Your posture’s akin to a car’s alignment; if a car’s off its alignment, it won’t work properly. Meanwhile, if your body’s not perfectly aligned, activities like bending down or even just walking may be painful. Cycling helps improve posture by increasing muscle strength and flexibility.

3) Improves joint mobility

Joint mobility is essential for increasing your body’s range of motion. People with a limited range of motion are more susceptible to injuries such as muscle tears and sprains. Bicycling, especially around landscapes with changes in elevation, will improve the mobility of many different joints.

4) Increases bone density

Osteoporosis is an illness that causes the body’s bones to thin. While it can develop in anybody, an effective preventative measure is to exercise. Cycling stands as one of the best exercises to combat osteoporosis as it helps increase bone density.

5) Reduces Stress

Exercise produces endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers, which, in addition to reducing pain, creates a feeling of euphoria. Endorphins also help induce sleep and healthy sleep cycle is proven to help prevent depression.

If you are at all concerned about your cardiovascular health or bone density, visit us at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter, where one of our board-certified physicians can administer you a physical examination. If you wish to speak with one of our medical professionals, call us at 425.291.3300.