Owing to the common perception that motorcycle riding is a dangerous sport, perhaps it is not as popular as it can be. Admittedly, as per a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistic from 2014 data, the rate of motorcyclist deaths was 27 times higher than that of deaths in other vehicles. However, many of these deaths were caused by irresponsible driving.
The truth is, motorcycle riding can actually benefit your health in more ways than one, as long as you
- drive at a moderate speed
- are well-focused, alert and attentive
- are in full control of your vehicle
- drink sober
- wear your helmet, and
- All the motorcycle parts are in good conditions.
- Watch those Calories Burn
Riding a motorcycle burns a lot more calories than driving in a car; about an extra 40. While regular motorcycle riders may burn between 200 and 300 calories every hour, those who ride race motorcycles, or do motocross could burn a maximum of 600 calories per hour.
You would know that the majority of motorcycles weigh no less than a few hundred pounds. As a rider, you would have to use many of the muscles in your body to safely steer and balance yourself, battle headwinds, brake and so on. This, in turn, would enhance muscle tone.
Riding would also boost insulin sensitivity for an amazing eight hours following a ride. Considering that insulin is a hormone which stores fat, enhanced insulin sensitivity means less insulin production to lower blood sugars or counteract carbohydrates. This, in turn, means better metabolism and less fat storage. All in all, riding a motorcycle provides for a full body workout! You can wear good gyp apparel for added feel and a comfortable ride.
- Gives your Brain a Workout Too
Riding a bike triggers the brain’s prefrontal areas. All the concentration you put into riding helps to improve cognitive function. So Dr. Ryutu Kawashima, a Japanese neuroscientist, rightly said that a daily motorbike ride can make its rider smarter and keep Alzheimer’s disease and dementia away.
As per a study that Dr. Kawashima conducted, daily riders in the age group of 40 to 50 years showed an enhanced degree of cognitive function after just two months. The study also determined that there was an increase in the subjects’ memories.
When you take your bike down scenic back roads, your stress comes down and your mood improves because of the release of endorphins. The additional sun exposure and the extra Vitamin D absorption that comes with it contribute further to a healthy and happy mind.
- Boost your Core Stability and Strength
You would be strengthening your abdominal muscles when you maneuver your bike to move at slow speeds and steer. You’re looking at a more fun abdominal workout than sit-ups!
Additionally, you need to have the right posture to stay upright on the bike. Good posture helps to keep your core stable and strong and to loosen those tight back muscles. Riding against the wind contributes further to a no-hassle low impact but invigorating exercise.
- Your Knees and Things Become Sturdier and Healthier
Riding a bike can reinforce key muscles that keep the patella and other knee bones in place. Thus, motorcycle riding is associated with fewer knee problems. It could also potentially reverse pain or other problems in the knee. If you have to take your bike backward into a parking space, particularly an uphill one, it would be similar to doing leg presses with a heavyweight.
When you’re riding a bike, you are working your knees and thighs but minus the overstraining. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
- Your Neck will Thank You
Yes! As long as you wear a helmet and have the appropriate seat, handlebars, and footpegs (everything should be fitted suitably for your comfort), your neck will thank you. You should not have to strain or crane your neck. Wearing a helmet in itself for even a few hours, irrespective of whether you ride or not will strengthen your neck.
Riding a motorcycle could possibly also help you skip that chiropractor visit! When your neck muscles are strengthened, the neck vertebrae are pulled back into proper alignment and curvature.
- Easy Passage to the Zen State
Motorcycling requires a considerable degree of concentration. You have to do things like gauge the speed, follow the lane, watch the road, be aware of the bike angle or your body posture, and foresee an incoming hazard. As such, you absolutely cannot take a break and put your life at risk.
Contrast the above to when you’re in your car, a hotdog may be in one hand, meanwhile, your mobile phone is giving you directions and one hand is on the steering wheel. So because you are so focused on your motorcycle journey, there is absolutely no time or space for bothersome thoughts and worries that otherwise plague you on a daily basis.
The singular focus achieved through motorcycle riding can be likened to meditation. It settles and relaxes both mind and body and outcome those pleasing endorphins from the brain. What’s more, the feeling of being free and in communion with nature contributes further to that wonderful feeling of Zen.
In closing, make sure you have enough training before you start riding. Your motorcycle should be ready too! It is best to do your initial rides on back roads. Then, only when you’re experienced and confident enough, head to the thoroughfares.
Ross Geller is a blogger who loves to write. He has written many informative blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs etc.