By guest blogger – Amy Patee, ERIK’S Events and Marketing Coordinator
I was four years old when I first rode a bike. It became my main mode for getting around the neighborhood to visit friends. I biked A LOT. All of us kids did back then. But as I got older, I stopped riding my bike. Thankfully that’s changing!
At ERIK’S I’m surrounded every day by cycling enthusiasts. And many are women. Mara in Accounting commutes to work everyday. She doesn’t even own a car. Morgan, the Business Development Manager, is an everything cyclist ready to take on the mountains, long open roads, or just a casual ride around the lakes. Jen in Warranty fat bikes throughout winter. And Kate in Webstore (also carless) commutes to work daily on her electric bike. Can you say INSPIRATION!!! As I witness their passion for cycling – I can’t help but get excited to ride my bike more! Plus – it’s just so dang good for you too.
Keep reading to learn my top 5 reasons it’s great to be a woman cyclist. Plus a few ways to squeeze more of it in despite being super busy.
Obviously cycling is good for the body. Women who bike for an hour will burn 300-600 calories which is a sure-fire way to get and stay fit. But beyond the external fitness benefits like those toned, strong legs you’ll be building, cycling is a superb exercise for enhancing inner health.
Basically, if you want to be a beacon of physical health and fitness – become besties with your bike.
Women are two to three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder and twice as many women than men are diagnosed with Depression. The reasoning behind these stats vary – but, the good news is, cycling can help!
Exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and positive human connection are some of the most commonly prescribed “natural” treatments for mental health issues. Taking a bike ride (preferably with a trusted friend) provides all four! The adrenalin and endorphins generated on a bike provide a healthy high that can literally shift brain chemistry and lower stress hormone levels.
Next time you need to clear your head and get your Zen on – consider hopping on your bike.
Feeling strong in the body and mind (as a result of cycling) definitely can add to one’s self-esteem. But there’s more. Cycling also offers an abundance of opportunities to get out of your comfort zone which can result in increased feelings of confidence. Maybe you are beginning to commute to work on a bike, just signed up for a charity ride with friends or hopping back on your bike for the first time in years. Trying on new experiences helps promote a feeling of, “I can do it.”
ERIK’S is a big supporter of the mountain bike organization Little Bellas. It works to empower young women through cycling, promoting the importance of goals and a healthy lifestyle, and emphasizes a positive female bond. Check out their programming for the little women in your life, or consider volunteering for them!
According to the Mayo Clinic women with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index. While biking can be a great solo activity – it’s a wonderful sport to do with others too. If you’re looking for more social time or want to cultivate new friends through a fun activity – check out your local cycling club or ask your neighbor to go for a bike ride with you. Watch how the social side of cycling can help you relieve stress and maybe even add some new life-long friendships into your life.
Just like me, you likely have a fond memory of riding a bike as a kid. Zipping around the neighborhood with friends, plowing through puddles, hopping over make-shift jumps. It was fun! And it still is. Although you may no longer want to splash through those puddles – chances are you’ll be smiling big just by feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and your strong body generating pedal power. Be like a kid again – get on a bike for the pure joy of it!
But I’m too busy. . .
If this all sounds great but you’re not sure how to fit biking into your already very full life – here’s a few simple ideas to get you started:
These are just a few reason why I think biking is great. Are you an avid woman cyclist? How has biking benefited you? What motivates you to get out there and ride? Share with us in the comments!