Riding a Motorcycle is Healthy

Healthy Riding and Biker Health

Everyone has heard it.You have never seen a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrist’s office. That saying has some truth to it, riding a motorcycle is good for your health, both mentally and physically.

When we drive a cage we sit in a static position the whole time with minimal movement. Riding requires more work from your mind and body, which activates the prefrontal areas of the brain.

In other words, this means it keeps your brain function sharp because it takes higher level of concentration to focus on the road and see what’s coming up and to avoid road obstacles.

Remember everything we do when we ride. We have to foresee everything ahead of us, what vehicles are around us, how they react, how driver is driving. We need to be aware of what turns and curves are up ahead, and your occasional piece of tire or furniture some dumb shit allowed to fall off their truck.

There was a study done by a scientist named Kawahima at the University of Tokyo. He credits his motorcycle riding activities for helping keep his brain functioning at a peak level, based on the fact that motorcycle riders must be more aware both physically and mentally while they are riding to avoid potential hazards when compared to cage drivers. He randomly divided twenty-two men into two groups. All of them were in their 40s or 50’s and possessed motorcycle licenses that had not been used in ten years or longer. One group began riding motorcycles on a daily basis for the next sixty days, while the others continued to drive their cages or bicycles. At the end of the trial period, tests were given to both groups. The motorcycle riders scored higher on the tests than the non-riding participants.

In another test with the same men, Kawishima asked them to remember a set of numbers in reverse order. They were tested before and after the sixty-day trial period. The scores of the active riders increased by more than 50% after riding for two months, but the scores of the non-riders showed a slight decline. So, After two months on two wheels, research results were able to conclude riders who drove their motorcycles daily had increased cognitive functioning when compared to those who didn’t. It was also found that these improvements would be lost if regular use of a motorcycle ceases.

Riding has been proven to have a positive impact on mental health too by helping biker moods and reducing stress. In the studies, biker participants noted that after 60 days of consistent motorcycle use, they had reduced stress levels and were generally happier. The adrenaline rush you get each time you accelerate on your bike, releases endorphins. The endorphins make you feel amazing and help improve your mood. Also, bikers have more exposure to direct sunlight, when riding all day. That increases Vitamin D levels and help your overall mood.
Now as if that wasn’t enough to benefit from, you can also get your entire daily exercise through riding.

It is a calorie burner similar to fast walking. Riding generally burns around 200-300 calories per hour. Riding against the wind burns even more.

Anyone that’s ridden a bike knows that it takes a lot of effort when compared to caging. Controlling a motorcycle requires the frequent use of every muscle in your body. Even the lighter bikes weigh several hundred pounds, and your body will get a total workout as you maintain the motorcycle’s balance, steer safely, and avoid obstacles and dumb shit drivers. Hell if you ride on a regular basis, you may find that it improves your muscle tone more than those trips to the gym.

The exercise benefits your body chemistry and weak knees. Some diabetics report that they are able to reduce their insulin usage on days that they ride. The steady exercise that is experienced during a long ride tends to stimulate their system and can provide the same benefits as other forms of exercise. Of course, if you’re a diabetic, it’s best to be safe and pack your medication and a few snacks, to make sure you keep your blood sugar levels stable.

The exercise that comes from riding all day increases your insulin sensitivity which tells your body to store less fat, so it can help with weight loss.

Riding strengthens key muscles used to hold the patella and other bones in your knees and keep them in place. It can reverse knee pain problems or prevent them. Most key muscles used to hold knee bones in place are in the thigh. Backing your motorcycle into parking spaces throughout the day takes a lot of effort. As a result of the intense use of thigh muscles, bikers end up with stronger knees and become less susceptible to knee injuries.

Fighting that wind against your lid can improve your neck strength. Lids are heavy as they are, especially a full face. So that alone works your neck muscles just trying to keep your head up straight. And riding on those windy days we get in the valley only stresses your neck even more. So the required neck strength to keep your head up straight while riding in these heavy winds strengthen your neck muscles and pull your neck vertebrae into alignment and back into the proper curvature.

All in all riding a motorcycle benefits your mental and physical health, so jump on that scoot and ride as often as you can. Yea, as if I had to twist your arm to do so…





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