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10 Reasons You Should Travel By Bike And See The World For Its Best

10 Reasons You Should Travel By Bike And See The World For Its Best

You take a turn and see a lake unfolding. You can feel the breeze on your face and smell the typical hot air of a tropical summer. There plays a group of monkeys by the water. You quietly stop pedalling to watch over the little ones.

That is one in many fond memories of your travels on two wheels. To travel by bike is much more than those memories. It is a way of life with incomparable benefits and joy.

1. You enjoy getting off the beaten paths and into more adventurous ones

Remember the time you were stuck in an over crowded underground in London? Or when you couldn’t manage to take a photo with Eiffel Tower.

It’s no longer the case. You are getting off paths that is so full of tourists to enjoy tranquility.

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Besides, some paths are much more enjoyable when you are exploring on a bike. Think about exploring Machu Pichu, a small village along the Mekong River, the deserted archaeological sites in Turkey, or Tuscany on the pedal – That is just to name a few.

2. You meet interesting people

Along unbeaten paths, you meet some local people who have never seen foreigners before. They are often much less grumpy than town dwellers who secretly blame you for their city being overcrowded. They are more likely to be interested in talking to you, showing you a nice route or offering you some home-grown fruits.

You also meet like-minded cyclists, and share a grilled fish over a campfire. This kind of relaxing encounter does not happen as often when you drive a car or rush around in a cross-country bus.

3. You have the ultimate freedom

You can stop at any time you feel like, to pet a horse from the farm by the road or to take a photo of a stunning sunset. Such freedom is not feasible when you travel by public transport. You can go as fast (or as slow) as you want, take a random turn when you see anything intriguing. You stay in the moment with your focus on where you are rather than where you are going to.

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Also you can say goodbye to all the time wasting waiting for a bus or a train to show up late. We all know that happens often in many parts of the world.

4. You find clarity

Amidst the rush of modern life, a journey on a bike gives you the chance to slow down. You are able to soak in the fresh air around you. You can hear, see and smell things differently out on a bike, compared with being boxed in a car or a train. Moving your muscles gets your circulation going, releases stress and clears your mind.

5. You improve your health

Cycling is a great way to improve your health. It gets your legs moving and your heart pumping without stressing your body too much. You can cycle for a long time and regularly, which is the best way of exercise. Besides, fresh air and cool breeze have good effect on your health and your mood.

6. You can afford it

After lodging, transportation is the most expensive part of travel. You can find cheap buses but they often choose the shortest route rather than the most scenic route to save fuel and time. Traveling by car is about six times more expensive than traveling by bike. Taking the train and flying are even more costly.

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7. You are being environment friendly

Considering the global warming, cycling is the most ethical way of travel. You leaves no carbon footprint from fossil fuel usage. People take much less from the earth in order to make a bike comparing with making a car or a plane.

To travel by bike, you are much more aware of the changes in the environment and appreciate things like unpolluted air, healthy-looking trees, harmonious rivers and so on. Those are things that are not so easily felt and appreciated when you are sealed up in a metal air-conditioned wagon. Car drivers sometimes end up forgetting about how important it is to have more fresh air and less smoke from burning fossil fuel.

8. You have it easier

This might sound odd but fast cars are not always the best. On a bike, you don’t have to worry about parking when you stop, running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere, and driving over the speed limit. You can let your guard down now and then to just enjoy the scenery. If it gets boring, you can always go off-road. You are worry-free.

9. You have a lot of time to think

When you are alone on a quiet track through sand dunes, it is a lot of time to think. You need to make a tough decision? You want to find a new idea? Nothing beats a long bike ride through the countryside.

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10. You are always learning

You learn about your own strength. Cycling is a mental exercise. It has little to do with your physical condition, age and sex and more to do with pushing your limits. The weather can be just too hot and humid. Some hills just seem too steep for you to climb up. But you will do it. You push your limits further pedal by pedal. You get over the hill and you feel great. Then you know boundaries are there to be broken.

You learn to be sensible. Drink more water, take regular breaks or even make a fire.

You learn to enjoy time alone, even just to find out you like it best when you have company. You also learn to talk to strangers. When you are out there in the open, you are more willing to open up to strangers. Some of the best conversations come from random encounters like that.

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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