Bikes. Thursday , August 31st , 2017 - 09:27:27 AM
Save the planet. Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around ﬁve percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efﬁcient, too — you travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy and, taking into account the ‘fuel` you put in your ‘engine`, you do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. You have your weight ratio to thank: you`re about six times heavier than your bike, but a car is 20 times heavier than you.
You`ll sleep more deeply. An early morning ride might tire you out in the short term, but it`ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour. “Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University`s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”
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.
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