Cycling is more than just a popular hobby here in the Sarasota area – riding a bike is a way of life for many looking to enjoy the sunshine, take in the scenery, and improve their health. Because of our climate, bike riding can be a year-round activity, offering vast health benefits. It is a low-impact aerobic workout for people of all ages, strengthening the heart, blood vessels, and lungs.

The low-impact aspect of bike riding is one of its most significant benefits. Far from just an exercise routine, bike riding can be easily integrated into daily life – whether riding to work, running errands, or heading to see a sunset.

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Health Benefits of Bike Riding

  • Increased strength and flexibility: Bike riding helps to build muscular strength and cardiac/pulmonary endurance. Cycling loosens quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hips, allowing the lower body to become more agile and flexible as time goes on – not less. Depending on the type of bicycle you choose, core and arm strength are also reinforced.
  • Facilitates coordination and balance: Bike riding improves both balance and posture, as it is difficult to remain upright without these disciplines. Cycling also stabilizes the core as you pursue maintaining the center of balance.
  • Improves mental health and cognition: Like most exercises, cycling releases positive endorphins in your brain that can alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. In addition to the endorphins, you can take bike rides with friends and through beautiful areas, which supports mental health and wellness. The nature of bike riding allows participants to work as hard as they want – or to be as leisurely as they feel – in order to customize a workout based on their mood, skill and desire.
  • Helps ease symptoms of arthritis: Bike riding is a relatively low-impact exercise, so it is perfect for those struggling with arthritis or osteoarthritis. This is because the activity places very little stress on the joints. When riding upright, the core is engaged, and the back is flattened – alleviating back pain and minimizing impact on the joints. Additionally, when the joints engage in movement, joint fluid is released and blood supply to the area is increased. All of these bodily processes help to lubricate the joint, decreasing the level of pain.

If You are New to Bike Riding

We often hear the phrase “it’s just like riding a bike,” referring to the belief that you never really forget how to ride a bicycle. However, if it has been many years since you rode a bicycle, it’s essential to start slow and be aware of safety and technique.

Ask for help in ensuring that the pedals, seat and handlebars are adjusted properly, otherwise soreness is more likely. Once you get the right fit, remember these tips:

  • Settle into a posture with shoulders back and elbows slightly bent
  • Maintain a light touch on the handlebars without leaning too heavily on your arms
  • Keep the chin down and neck stretched, not bentSafety First! Of course, when riding a bike (especially if sharing the road with motorists) it is important to wear a helmet, ride with traffic, obey traffic laws and use lights or reflectors if out at dusk.

    Ready to Try It Out?

    Bike riding on or around Siesta Key can be one of the most enjoyable exercises you can participate in. Whether cruising along the beach at sunset, riding along the Legacy Trail, or exploring the Keys, Ride and Paddle has the right bike for you. We rent traditional bikes, children’s bikes and carts, e-bikes, and beach cruisers – you can choose your own adventure! (Read more about our favorite area bike rides.)

    If you are visiting Sarasota or Siesta Key – or you just want to try out a few different bikes before purchasing your own – call Ride and Paddle for a bike rental to suit your needs.