Bikes. Tuesday , September 12th , 2017 - 09:44:29 AM
Make friends and stay healthy. The social side of riding could be doing you as much good as the actual exercise and health benefits. University of California researchers found socialising releases the hormone oxytocin, which buffers the ‘ﬁght or ﬂight` response. Another nine-year study from Harvard Medical School found those with the most friends cut the risk of an early death by more than 60 percent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system. The results were so signiﬁcant that the researchers concluded not having close friends or conﬁdants is as detrimental to your health as smoking or carrying extra weight. Add in the ﬁtness element of cycling too and you`re onto a winner.
Avoid pollution. You`d think a city cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, according to a study carried out by Imperial College London. Researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultraﬁne particles — which can settle in the lungs and damage cells — per cubic centimetre. Bus passengers sucked up just under 100,000 and people in cars inhaled about 40,000. Cyclists, meanwhile, were exposed to just 8,000 ultraﬁne particles per cubic centimetre. It`s thought that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because we ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren`t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.
It`ll make you happy. Even if you`re miserable when you saddle up, cranking through the miles will lift your spirits. “Any mild-to-moderate exercise releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy,” explains Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation. That`s probably why four times more GPs prescribe exercise therapy as their most common treatment for depression compared to three years ago. “Just three 30-minute sessions a week can be enough to give people the lift they need,” says McCulloch. Why cycling makes you happy.
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