If you've spent any time in Folsom, CA, then you’ve seen for yourself how Folsom is a much-loved cycling destination. Cyclists are everywhere in Folsom—you’ve seen them on your drive to and from work, or pedaling their way towards the American River or around Folsom Lake on the weekends.
From 2006 to 2020, the number of people choosing to cycle grew from a healthy 39.69 million to an astonishing 52.73 million! And the numbers continue to grow.
Why are more and more people turning to cycling?
There are very good and valid reasons people are choosing the crank over the tank.
Physical Health Benefits of Bicycling
Cycling offers a variety of health benefits for all sorts of people. It is a sport or activity for the young and old. Cycling can be a gentle exercise for some or a rigorous, calorie-torching exercise for others.
Whether you ride hard or simply ride, here are some of the amazing health benefits of cycling.
A Low Impact Sport
For those who can’t endure the pressure of high-impact exercise, cycling may be a perfect way to get your heart pumping without added strain on your body.
This low-impact sport puts very little strain on your body and still works out all of your
major muscle groups. It is a self-paced activity that allows you to go easy or hard.
Burn Calories Cycling
Whether you are looking to lose weight or simply maintain your current body composition, bicycling may be able to help.
According to Harvard, bicycling can burn anywhere from 200 - 400 calories in a 30-minute session (depending on how vigorously you bike and how much you weigh).
Combining cycling with a healthy diet could help you lose fat and weight. As you build up your endurance, you can get even more out of your ride by increasing the distance and/or intensity.
Mental Health Benefits
Stressed out at work? Are you being pulled in every direction? The stresses of everyday life can get to all of us.
Take 30 or 40 minutes out of your day a few times a week and hop on a bicycle!
Cycling helps get your blood flow pumping at a higher rate, which releases all the good, “happy” chemicals in your body, to help enhance your positive mental health. Plenty of studies have shown the positive impact of exercise on self-esteem, anxiety, and of course, stress.
Cycling helps you sleep better too!
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
One of the most positive impacts of bicycling occurs when cyclists start swapping car trips for bike trips! Riding your bike more (and using your car less) can create healthier, more environmentally-friendly communities.
Approximately 1.6 billion tons of greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere every year through gas-powered vehicles. Most of this is carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes to climate change and global warming.
"If everyone in the world who works less than 5 miles from home cycled instead of driving to work one day a week, it would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 5 million tons a year. That's the equivalent of 1 million people getting rid of their cars. And it would save over 24 billion gallons of gas." according to the University of Montana.
That in itself would have a tremendous impact in helping to care for our planet.
With the exception of China, the United States leads in the emission of CO2 from transportation.
The benefits of cycling to help our world doesn’t stop with vehicle emissions. There are other positive impacts we can gain by leaving the car at home.
Although cutting down on CO2 is a great benefit, there are other chemicals that keep your car running that are also a hazard to the earth. Cars need antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and engine oil. All of these liquids can and do leak, causing harm to our land and waterways. Fewer car trips mean fewer chemicals in the environment.
Bicycling: For You and the Planet!
Bicycling can be a fun sport for everyone. It can be a competitive sport for some but can also be a very casual/leisurely activity. All you need is a bicycle and a helmet and you are on your way to a healthier you and a healthier planet!