Have you ever considered biking to work? Most of us opt to jump in the car, even if work isn't that far away. This May 17th, Resurgens Orthopaedics would like to encourage you to observe National Bike to Work Day and use human power to get to your place of business. Here are a few of the benefits to the musculoskeletal system you're likely to see with regular bike riding, whether you're riding to work or just riding for fun or exercise.
Improved Muscle Strength
Riding a bike - especially uphill - requires you to keep your legs pumping on those pedals. As anyone who has ever ridden a bike knows, it's an excellent workout for your quads, calves, glutes, and many other muscle groups. The more you bike, the more muscle you'll build, and the easier your rides will become. Not only that, but biking is also a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the most important muscle of all: your heart. A stronger cardiovascular system will significantly decrease your chances of suffering from heart disease and other serious illnesses as you age.
Improved Joint Mobility and Flexibility
Biking is a great low-impact way to improve the health of your joints. In fact, exercise bikes are one of the many tools Resurgens Orthopaedics physical therapists use to help patients recover their range of motion after joint surgery or replacement. That low-impact pedaling motion is also the perfect way for older people with joint problems to regain their mobility without risking the injuries that come from running and other high-impact cardiovascular exercises. With biking, muscle building and joint health go hand-in-hand as stronger muscles in the legs help stabilize vulnerable joints in the knees and ankles, which are some of the most commonly injured in athletes.
Getting regular exercise helps build stronger bones and riding your bike is an excellent way to stay active. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more weight your bones have to bear, the more resistence your bones overcome. While biking doesn't require your leg bones to support as much weight as some other activities, there's a lot to be said for the low-impact motion of pedaling a bicycle. As your muscles and tendons move your bones to generate leverage, new bone tissue is created based upon the pressure applied to it. And since cycling is low-impact, you'll be less likely to suffer broken bones in your quest for physical fitness.
At Resurgens Orthopaedics, we feel a responsibility to encourage members of our community to live a healthy and active lifestyle. If you live within biking distance of your job, we hope you'll consider hopping on your bike instead of starting up the car next time you're heading into the office. And if biking to work is not an option for you, feel free to get on your bike and ride anyway! Of course, you don't have to wait for National Bike to Work Day to get started; any time is the perfect time to take the next step towards a healthy lifestyle.