Cycling For Fitness And Recreation
In order to stay healthy and fit, you’ve got to keep moving. Engaging in physical activity regularly can help protect against serious chronic diseases like:
- Heart disease
- Mental illness
If you live in Boston, one of the best ways to get that exercise – and be more efficient and environmentally conscious – is to ride a bicycle. Whether you bike as part of your daily commute or just take it out on weekends in the summer, it’s one of the most efficient ways to combine the goals of getting exercise and maintaining a busy lifestyle.
Of course, bike accidents are always a concern, and at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers's BikeAttorney.com, we understand cyclists need to find a balance of engaging in a healthier lifestyle and at the same time doing everything possible to protect their lives and well-being.
Cycling for Fitness and Health
Doctors say it takes just two to four hours weekly to realize a general improvement to one’s health. Taking a bike out for a few hours on a Sunday or choosing to commute via Hubway bike just twice a week can do wonders for your health.
It’s recognized the world around as being one of the best ways you can kick-start and maintain a fitness regimen. Among the reasons cited by the Australian government, cycling is:
- Good for strength and stamina.
- Easy. It doesn’t require one to have a high level of skill. Once you learn it, you always know it.
- Efficient muscle work out. Uses all the major muscles groups in the course of pedaling.
- Low impact. This results in less strain and injuries, as compared to other forms of exercise.
- As intense or mild as you want for it to be. You can start off simply riding for leisure and work your way up to a workout that is highly physical and demanding.
- Efficient in terms of time. You get to where you’re going faster, and you’re not wasting time being sedentary while you do it.
- Fun. It gets you outdoors. Allows you to see sights you might otherwise miss traveling by car or bus or rail. Can be a social activity done with other riders or a solitary break to help clear your mind.
There are other studies – most recently by neurologists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – that reveal cycling can actually help your brain power. Our brains shrink as we age. One researcher was quoted by bicycling.com as saying after just three months of regular pedaling, participants had brain volumes that were akin to someone three years younger. Someone with a larger, more connected brain is going to have sharper memory skills, higher levels of concentration, greater problem-solving skills and better ability to think fluidly.
And as far as a mood booster, other research shows that after 30 minutes of cycling, the brain releases chemicals like endorphins and cannabinoids that help to naturally lift your spirits. When you ride regularly, researchers say hormones like cortisol and adrenaline stay better controlled, which means routine bikers are experience less stress and cope more effectively with anxiety.
Biking for Recreation
If you’re lucky enough to live in Boston, you know bicycling is fast becoming part of the urban culture here and even into the suburbs.
It makes sense, however, that ridership fluctuates with the season here in New England. Colder temperatures and snow can make it tougher and sometimes impossible to ride.
Boston emergency medical services and police report most crashes occur on weekdays (which is also when Hubway bike share ridership is the highest and more people are moving throughout the city for work).
Those reports also indicate the most crashes occur between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and also between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., which makes sense because this is the so-called “rush-hour.”
So perhaps it makes sense that people might feel more comfortable riding leisurely or participate in social bike functions and races on the weekends.
According to Mass Bike, there are 17 recreational bike clubs in and around Boston, plus three off-road clubs and more than a dozen racing clubs and associations.
The Bike Planning Network has stated a key objective for the city is to encourage more riding, and recreational biking is a big part of that. The city is calling for a network of 356 miles of comprehensive safe cycling routes throughout the city over the next three decades. We’re already about a third of the way to that goal.
The state sought to encourage social cycling by updating Mass. Gen. Law Ch. 85, Section 11B, which in part now allows riders to operate two abreast in a single lane (with some restrictions).
But that doesn’t mean recreational ridership is without risk. If you have been injured in a Boston bicycling accident, contact our offices today.
Contact the Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers's BikeAttorney.com.