Bike-riding is obviously good for your butt. But did you know it’s good for your brain as well? Health experts from the physical and mental side of the expert spectrum gush about the benefits of riding bikes and their cases are so convincing, we want you to get on board.
According to Harvard Health, pushing pedals is a great aerobic workout. This means that it gets your heart rate up which makes it pump more blood. More blood being pumped is a great thing because when blood circulates around your body, it’s delivering the oxygen that’s stored in the blood to your organs. And organs love oxygen because, well, it’s basically what keeps us alive!
Harvard Health also raves about the muscle-building benefits of cycling. They say, “In the power phase of pedaling (the downstroke), you use the gluteus muscles in the buttocks, the quadriceps in the thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves. In the recovery phase (backstroke, up-stroke, and overstroke), you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the flexor muscles in the front of the hips.” Six muscle groups every time you pedal!
As for the mental benefits, these are linked to all forms of regular exercise – not just cycling. But cycling is brilliant because it’s usually pretty easy to work into your routine. Whether it’s cycling to work, pedalling to a pal’s house or going to the grocery store, you can make bikes your mode of choice for most commutes.
Some studies shows that an active lifestyle can result in better moods and a better overall sense of well-being. One study in particular, titled Physical Activity and Psychological Well-Being, looked specifically at people who engaged in casual physical activity rather than competitive physical activity. And cycling is a classic example of casual physical activity that can become a part of daily life.
Brunswick is a great place to begin your life as a cyclist. Two major bike paths run through this suburb and together they wind all the way into the city. The first path runs through Brunswick along the train tracks. The second is called the Capital City Trail and it’s one of Melbourne’s favourite tracks – it merges with the first path past Brunswick Road and you can take it all the way to Southbank.
And fortunately for budding bikers, the hood also hosts a number of bike shops. We’ve put together a list of where to head to get geared up for your new life as a cyclist.
108-110 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056 | (03) 9380 8689
119 Lygon St, Brunswick East 3057 | (03) 9387 0412
302 Barkly St, Brunswick 3056 | (03) 8589 0581
32 Union St, Brunswick 3056 | (03) 8388 7352
194 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056 | (03) 9387 7911