How Riding Your Harley-Davidson Can Improve Your Health

Posted by Lisa DiFalco on

Alt image: Healthy biker beside bike Diagnostica

It is truly amazing. There are plenty of people telling you how dangerous it is to even consider riding a bike. Listening to them, it seems like you would have to be crazy to get on and ride your Harley. However, did you know that there are actual mental and physical health benefits associated with motorcycle riding?

Riding your bike not only feels good but may be good for you. New research finds that getting up on that bike may make you stronger, smarter and help you address trauma. Explore the surprising health benefits now associated with safe motorcycle riding.

Low-impact Exercise

Dr. Pamela Reilly, a naturopathic doctor at Good Works Wellness Research, believes motorcycle riding offers riders a form of low-impact exercise. Orthopedic surgeons found that those who ride regularly experienced fewer knee problems. The activity of riding may serve to strengthen muscles needed to hold the patella and associated bones in place. Riders benefit from improved insulin sensitivity for as long as 8 hours after riding, a metabolic change that supports weight loss. Riding burns calories. Motorcycle riding is a constant resistance exercise and a rider can burn as much as 600 calories an hour. This form of exercise also releases endorphins, boosting a rider’s mood and outlook. Spending time outside also serves up a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Riders can feel good, lose weight and have fewer knee issues as they enjoy a lifetime of motorcycle riding.

Improved Cognitive Function

The study out of the University of Tokyo, The relationship between motorcycle riding and the human mind, examined brain function and cognitive skills in cyclists and non-riders. Research showed that riders who commuted regularly to work had better cognitive functioning than non-riders. Riders also performed significantly better when asked to repeat given numbers in reverse order. The benefits were lost when riders stopped using their bike regularly.

Therapeutic Value for Wounded Vets

“Indian Dave” Frey, film producer, Army Airborne veteran and founder of the Veterans Charity Ride, has experienced the benefits first-hand. Frey believes the “sense of presence” experienced when riding allows veterans to work through their trauma and heal. Frey said:

“Many veterans believe that they are forgotten and cast aside, we show them America truly cares by stopping in big and small towns and the public comes out to greet and acknowledge their sacrifice and they know they are not alone.”

Motorcycle riding and the support of the motorcycle community can help veterans reconnect with others and break the barrier of silence.

Now That You Know

The next time someone points out the dangers of motorcycle riding, you can turn to them and share how riding a bike can actually improve your state of health. Diagnostica always recommends following safe riding practices and regular maintenance of your bike. Share the mental and physical health benefits you have experienced below or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.


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