Are you looking for a little adventure? Or maybe you’re looking for a new place to explore. How about heading out on the highway for a motorcycle ride?
We hear a lot about the dangers of motorcycle riding, but we rarely read about how motorcycle riding can improve physical health. And most importantly, how we can benefit from it emotionally and mentally.
Some of the benefits are obvious, but others are not so much. Motorcycle riding can make us feel good. That’s obvious. But did you know that it can also help you trim down and strengthen your core and neck?
That’s right. And these facts are backed by science.
So allow us to drive you to the physical benefits of motorcycle riding.
Stronger Neck and Core
Wearing a helmet for an extended period is vital for safety. However, after a long ride, many motorcyclists complain about the aches and muscle pains around the neck. And the reason behind the pain is because of prolonged use of a helmet.
Neck pain can be annoying. But did you know that it’s strengthening your neck? And let’s not forget to include windblast into the equation, then you’ve got a neck workout while riding your motorcycle.
This is mostly true for those who use a motorcycle that doesn’t have a windshield.
But of course, it’s not healthy to continually strain or crank your health. It can have a negative impact in the long run.
When driving, regardless of what type of vehicle, glancing to the side mirrors is important, especially before changing lanes and making a turn or to simply see whatever is behind you.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, looking at the side mirrors now and then is vital. Remember, motorcycles do not offer as much protection as cars.
Driving for a long period can result in neck pain, or worse, stiff neck, particularly when you’re constantly turning your head left and right to check your rearview.
So, it’s important that you position your side mirrors correctly. You should have a clear rear view without having to turn your head that much. This way, you can prevent straining your neck.
A long ride can also cause back pain. But it shouldn’t be that way. Ensure the handlebars and footpegs have the right measurement, so you can sit and drive comfortably.
When you’re correctly positioned in your motorcycle, it can actually strengthen your cores instead of hurting your back. You see, a lot of muscles work together when you’re riding a motorcycle, but your cores are actually what ties everything together.
Your core functions in every maneuver you make. The movements in your core are low-intensity, so you may not notice the impact. You’re not just aware of it, but riding a motorcycle can actually strengthen your cores.
Develop Brawny Thighs and Burn Calories
If you think intensive workouts and cutting high-calorie foods are the only way to burn calories, then you’re wrong.
Everyone thinks motorcycle riding is just all about travelling and having fun on the road, but it actually does more than what people think.
When you’re driving a car, you’re comfortably seated. Your back is supported with a soft, cushy car seat and a warm headrest supports your head. Some cabs have an armrest to support your arms in a long drive.
You don’t get these things when riding a motorcycle. Your cores are constantly working, and your muscles are operating. When you ride a motorcycle, you continuously grip your knees and thighs. Again, the impact is subtle and almost unnoticeable. But in the long run, motorcycle riding can strengthen your needs and make your legs more solid.
You’ll burn more calories when you engage in intensive motocross riding. Those who take steep, rocky (or even muddy) tracks can burn up to 600 calories per hour. A relaxed motorcycle city ride can make you burn 200 to 300 calories. You can burn more if you ride with some vigour.
And interestingly, even your passenger can burn up to 50 calories per hour. So if you want to burn calories, go out and ride!
Also, when you’re on the road in your motorcycle, you gain exposure to direct sunlight, which increases Vitamin D and improves your mood.
Motorcycle Riding and Diabetes
This may surprise you, but did you know that riding makes a positive difference for people with type-2 diabetes and weak knees?
The exercise you get from riding (albeit minimal) can impact the chemistry of your body by decreasing its insulin use. This results in increased insulin sensitivity, which tells your body to store less fat. This can help you with your weight loss journey.
Riding a motorcycle cannot cure diabetes, but it sure can help!
Motorcycle Riding Can Improve Your Mental Health
Motorcycle riding does more than just strengthening your neck, muscles, and cores. It also helps improve your cognitive thinking, reduce stress, and enhance your mood.
You tend to sit in a sedentary manner when you drive a car. Driving a motorcycle is a bit different. It requires more work, both physically and mentally. When navigating, your brain has higher levels of concentration.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd did joint research together with Ryuta Kawashima Laboratory of the Department of Functional Brain Imaging and Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer at Tohoku University. This is what the research found:
Motorcycle riding can “improve various cognitive functions… and has positive effects on mental and emotional health, such as stress reduction.”
The research also found that the improvements would be lost if a person ceases motorcycle use. In the study, the rider participants consistently used a motorcycle for 60 days. They noticed reduced stress levels and improved mood.
Why does driving a motorcycle make you happy?
You get pumped up when you ride a motorcycle. That adrenaline rush you get is your brain releasing endorphins (a.k.a the happy hormones).
If you’re tired of your daily treadmill and morning run, why not hit the road and go for a ride? There’s a lot of physical and mental benefits you can reap from motorcycle riding. It can strengthen your neck and even give you full six-pack abs. It can also reduce your stress levels and help you get into a better mood.