Biking: Healthy or Hazardous?

Ride Alert

Biking: Healthy or Hazardous?

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience that has the power to work wonders. Yet, all good things also have a flip side. Are there really disadvantages to something as good as motorcycle riding? BforBiker will try and throw some light on this question.

Apart from the most obvious risks of injury and possible loss of life, motorcycling also has a few health-related risks that are not often spoken of. Though some argue that the health benefits of biking are numerous, it would be naïve to look at only one part of the whole picture. Hopefully, this article helps make you a little more alert to the potential health benefits as well as risks involved in riding a bike.

Following are some of the main health benefits of biking:

  • Burns Calories: A motorcycle could help you burn down a good lot of calories while merely sitting and riding it. Depending on the type of terrain being covered, a rider could burn up to 65,000 calories over the time span of a year!
  • Strengthens muscles and joints: Balancing the weight of a bike requires quite a lot of strength which a bi9ker develops with the constant use of the vehicle. It has the capacity to reduce knee pain and even strengthen the core.
  • Improved mental health and brain performance: Motorcyclists have been observed to have better brain functionality than non-riders. High levels of satisfaction and happiness in one’s own company develop well in the mind of a biker leading to better overall productivity.
  • Improves Alertness: Having to be constantly aware of vehicles and pedestrians around, a biker gets accustomed to being alert to others him/her. He/she also tends to be highly resourceful in acting promptly when faced with challenging social situations, as a subconscious imitation of his/her attempt to maneuver a tricky turn or obstacle while riding on the road.

Though these benefits are highly pleasing and comforting to think of, we must also try to look further and identify the possible health disadvantages of biking:

  • Skin problems: Due to regular and sometimes long hours of continuous contact with natural elements, a biker may face skin problems like dryness, soreness, and even abrasions from close turns, falls and sharp objects or stones that may be hurled at the rider by a forceful wind. Further, he/she may contract skin infections due to dust and dirt that may enter through the site if an open wound or abrasion is left exposed while riding.
  • Loss of hearing: The noise of horns, commotion, wind in the ears, and most pertinently, the continuous sound of one’s own engine, may sometimes cause severe damage to the ears, leading to loss of hearing and even complete deafness.
  • Stiffness and cramping: Riders sometimes experience tightness in their muscles and crams or swelling in the arms, legs and the back. This happens due to long hours of continuous riding, and one must ensure proper rest to avoid developing long-term complications arising out of these early symptoms.
  • Back and neck pain: Wrong posture or an uncomfortable bending position on a bike is another problem faced by all bikers. This, however, may become a serious ailment like Spondylitis that will require years of treatment and even require the individual to give up on riding altogether!
  • Risk of erectile dysfunction and impotency: The riding position of a motorcyclist requires him/her to rest the navel area extremely close to the engine and fuel tank. It is the constant and extreme vibration of the engine and the restricted position of the genital area that leads to urinary and erectile issues in men with an added risk of impotency for men and infertility for women bike riders. This is one of the most serious health hazards of motorbike riding but is still the least discussed problem. It is important for one to wear the correct gear and take regular breaks while riding, especially on long road trips and tours.

Discussing the benefits and hazards that motorcycle riding pose to the health of riders is extremely important in today’s times when more and more youngsters have begun to discover the thrills of biking. Not too many people know about the connection between health and riding, as motorcycle trips are generally viewed from the perspective of fun, with the only concern being that of meeting with an accident. It is very important to have full and proper knowledge of anything before stepping into it. And the same applies to biking. It is only when one is aware of the potential health risks posed by riding a motorcycle, that he/she will make a genuine effort to use the correct gear and follow road safety rules diligently, as is required of him/her.

Bikers zooming along, often have the tendency to throw caution to the wind, and promptly feel the pinch when they meet with an accident. However, when health issues crop up, no one would link it to their love riding a bike in any way.

Biking is a passion that is close to the hearts of many. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be! Passions are developed to bring happiness and provide relief from the monotony of one’s daily life of monotonous responsibilities. But taking a passion too far is also a dangerous game to play. Everything is beneficial in limited amounts but is bound to ruin you if overdone. One must not forget this rule even in the context of enjoying one’s passion for motorcycle riding. For it would be utterly sad if the reason for someone’s ill health were to be the very passion that was supposed to keep him happy.

So the next time that you get on to your bike, remember that you must put health first while soaking in the thrill you are about to experience as you embark on the joy ride with your beloved motorcycle.

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