klitscho. Bikes. August 31st , 2017.
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.
Your boss will love you. No, we don`t mean your Lycra-clad buttocks will entice your superiors into a passionate ofﬁce romance, but they`ll appreciate what cycling does for your usefulness to the company. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and their ability to deal with stress. The study also reported that workers who exercised felt their interpersonal performance was better, they took fewer breaks and found it easier to ﬁnish work on time. Sadly, the study didn`t ﬁnd a direct link between cycling and getting a promotion.
Spend quality time with your partner. It doesn`t matter if your paces aren`t perfectly matched, just slow down and enjoy each other`s company. Many couples make one or two riding ‘dates` every week. And it makes sense: exercise helps release feel-good hormones, so after a ride you`ll have a warm feeling towards each other even if he leaves the toilet seat up and her hair is blocking the plughole again.
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.
Comparing the pre- and post-run scans, they found evidence of more opiate binding of the happy hormone in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain — areas known to be involved in emotional processing and dealing with stress. “There`s a direct link between feelings of wellbeing and exercise, and for the ﬁrst time this study proves the physiological mechanism behind that,” explains study co-ordinator Professor Henning Boecker.
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