At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, our passion for cycling and bikes is fueled by the joyful experiences shared while riding a bike. Whether that is riding with friends and family, participating in a community event, or pushing personal limits in training or a race. Yet, underneath that is a deep appreciation for what cycling and bike riding does to support health, longevity, and preserve the quality of life as we age.
Previously we’ve written about The Benefits Of Cycling For Seniors Living with Arthritis, Cycling when Pregnant, How to Remain Injury-Free with Cycling, and Why Cycling is so Good For You in Later Life. Today, our focus is on how cycling can help you manage diabetes.
If you are unaware, America is facing a healthcare crisis with levels of diabetes, and Colorado is no different, having 9.8% of the adult population diagnosed with some form of the disease according to Diabetes.org. A complex condition that is never healed, it requires lifelong lifestyle changes to keep in check. A big part of this is exercise, and cycling can be one of the best ways to keep diabetes under control.
How cycling helps – physically
All exercise is beneficial for keeping diabetes in check, but there is evidence that cycling may be particularly effective and especially so in terms of prevention. A 2016 study published in PLOS found that cycling – whether recreational or commuter – significantly reduced the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, and also aided pregnant women with avoiding gestational diabetes. Apart from the inherent accessibility and effectiveness of cycling, associated lifestyle changes were marked as indicators for why cycling is so effective.
Cyclists make it routine
By cycling to and from work and home or running errands via bike commuting the semi-vigorous exercise is introduced to the daily routine. More so than even walking, this means that the body is more regularly engaged in exercise and that hormone levels are kept in check. This, in turn, influences diet and blood sugar. For both preventing and mitigating the symptoms of diabetes, this is an invaluable factor. Being on the road makes it less tempting to be sedentary and eat unhealthy snacks, too.
In addition to being generally more active, cyclists are more likely to eat a well-balanced diet. This was the findings of an influential 2001 study that outlined how cyclists will typically eat a well-balanced plate every day with a good mix of macro and micronutrients. A good diet is an incredibly important part of diabetes control and likely the most important singular factor. The introduction of a good diet as a by-product of the cycling culture and exertion can only be seen as a positive contributory factor.
In many ways, the benefits that those diagnosed with diabetes generate from cycling are formed in a holistic way. While the physical activity of cycling is absolutely beneficial for mitigating a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s the lifestyle that many cyclists pick up that ends up being the defining factor. If you’re looking for the perfect undertaking to help you manage your diagnosis of diabetes, consider cycling – you’ll more than likely be feeling better without even knowing it.
As we’re transitioning into the fall and winter climates, maintaining motivation to ride in inclement weather can be a factor. Those dedicated to bike commuting and managing diabetes know that wearing base layers for warmth, combined with a wind jacket or rain jacket can keep their core warm while they ride comfortably. In addition, long fingered gloves and knee warmers keep the fingers and knees toasty warm contributing to a comfortable commuting or training experience.
When you have the right bike parts and cycling accessories, it’s easy to ride no matter what the conditions. Cycling consistently supports overall health and well being. So when your motivation is wavering, remember that cycling supports your health well beyond the thrill of a great bike ride.