This goes out to every rider who on daily basis has to listen to the usual cynicism the world has to throw at them, things like “motorcycles are so dangerous” conversations, to every mother who’s convinced her son or daughter is insane for riding, and for anyone who needs a really good excuse to go out and buy a bike.
The bottom line is that riding a motorcycle is a form of low-impact exercise that improves muscle tone, can assist with weight loss, and has a multitude of health benefits. These health benefits include but are not limited to:
Healthier, Stronger Knees and Thighs -
motorcycle riders have fewer knee problems because riding a bike strengthens key muscles used to hold the patella and other bones in the knee in place. Riding a motorcycle may reverse knee pain and problems and can most definitely prevent them. Most of the key muscles used to hold knee bones in place reside in the thigh. Additionally, backing a bike into a parking spot, especially uphill, is basically like doing leg presses with a 600 pound weight. It works! Now you know, why those rare few women who ride motorcycles in this part of land seems to have great legs (not that we are saying you ogle at them, we just point towards a deduction).
Improved Core Strength -
Again, all of the activities involved in steering a bike, moving it at slow speeds, etc., serve to strengthen muscles in the abdomen. Trust us, it is more fun than doing sit ups in a gym. Like any Motorcyclist will tell you, "with your bike is always better than without your bike".
Increased Insulin Sensitivity -
Because riding a motorcycle is a low-impact form of exercise, people who ride have improved insulin sensitivity for up to eight hours after a ride. Improved insulin sensitivity has a profound impact on weight loss, because insulin is a fat storage hormone. Having improved insulin sensitivity means your body will produce less insulin to counteract carbohydrates or to lower blood sugars, which means your body will be signalled to store less fat. The improved insulin sensitivity is also of great importance to anyone with Type 2 diabetes.
Calorie Burning -
Riding a bike burns calories. Period. You burn calories everywhere there is a motorcycle ride involved. It requires effort while riding to maintain balance, shift, brake, control the clutch, battle headwinds, etc., and that’s AFTER you burn calories backing the bike out of the garage! Riding into a headwind burns a significant amount of calories as your body tenses muscles to fight the wind and stay on the bike.
This constant resistance exercise not only burns calories but serves to strengthens those muscles, which ultimately increases your metabolism. Additionally, the physical effort exerted while turning, especially at higher speeds, can be significant. Folks who ride motocross or race motorcycles can burn up to 600 calories per hour; the rest of us burn around 200-300 calories per hour. Not bad!
You also burn calories, a lot of them when you have to fight and argue with your mother and your girl to make them understand just why you are not going to listen to them, if they keep opposing your riding addiction (due to obvious reasons, the calorie burned in all these arguments can't be calculated, but your acceleration out of the garage does give a clearer picture ;) )
Improved Neck Strength -
This one is limited to those riders who wear helmets and those who have taken the time to properly fit themselves to their bike with the correct handle bars, seat, foot pegs, etc. Riding a bike that doesn’t “fit” well can actually cause back pain and destroy proper alignment. Make sure your bike fits you!
Wearing a helmet for a few hours a day would strengthen your neck whether you ride or not. Wearing it while riding, especially if you don’t have a windshield to shelter you from the wind, requires significant strength.
Mental Outlook - Motorcycle riders usually report returning from a ride feeling energized and happy. Many riders refer to their motorcycle as their “therapist.” Riding a motorcycle has a wonderful way of releasing endorphins that serve to boost mood and improve outlook. The time spent on a bike also provides valuable sun exposure, known to increase Vitamin D levels which are known to be powerful mood enhancers.
Additionally, the hours of alone time spent on the back of a bike either allows folks to completely escape from their problems or allows them to work through problems and consider issues from different perspectives. We know more than one rider who hops on their bike and takes a ride when they have an issue needing consideration.
So here you go, riding motorcycles have some benefits to show, keep them handy whenever your mom or your girl friend throw their typical tantrums when you plan to go for a ride. They, can indeed jealous, nothing else.
Do not get us wrong, Motorcycle riding is a dangerous thing to do and one should be outmost vigilant towards his/her own safety and that of other road users while riding a motorcycle. Trust us, we have seen the dark side of motorcycling to know how delicate this all is.
Have fun, be safe, go for a ride, twist that throttle and yes, your girl-friend if she is serious enough for you, will understand, there are things you love more than her.