If you’ve ever pedalled up a hill before, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that cycling is great for working the lower body, but did you know the health benefits reach far beyond your quads and hamstrings?
Check out these brain and body benefits of cycling:
Benefits for your brain
Boosts your mood: Whether pedalling a favourite trail or whooshing down a hill, biking is great for relieving stress and improving mood.
Bonding with friends and family: A bike ride with family or friends provides excellent bonding time. What better way to connect than to go on an adventure together?
Benefits for your body
Get heart healthy: Biking is a great workout that helps to improve cardiovascular health.
Protects your joints: Biking is non-weight-bearing, which makes it a good option for people dealing with joint pain or injury.
Increases your lower body strength: Pedalling a bike is a great lower body workout, particularly for the quads, hamstrings and calves.
Improves coordination: Pedalling while maintaining balance and steering improves your coordination.
Cycle a trail near you
For more information on biking in parks, check out the “Activities” tab on the individual park pages. You can also search for parks with biking opportunities near you using the Park Locator Tool.
You can also steer your wheels towards the trails at one of these parks:
This Park features 3 trails for cycling, totaling 38.5 km in length. These scenic trails travel through mature Carolinian forest, past 200 year old trees, and through rare Oak Savanna.
Mountain bikers can start at the South Kabeyun Trail Head for 7.5 km after which you’ll want to hike the extra distance along Taws Lake Trail to the Top of the Giant, leading to a spectacular vista that takes in Silver Inlet, Isle Royale and Thunder Bay.
The 3 km Hardwood Hill Trail requires a medium to difficult skill level. Very hilly, the trail begins and ends at the park store and travels through a mature hardwood forest containing a mixture of sugar maple, beech and yellow birch trees.
The Park’s mountain bike trail offers two loops: a 13 km (moderate) and a 19 km (difficult). Cycle past towering maples, beech trees and scenic ponds before arriving at the Silent Lake day-use beach.
Angel’s Point Trail (4.5 km) provides two loops through hardwood forests. The outside loop is straight and smooth with gradually rolling hills, appropriate for young children. The inside loop is more challenging with frequent hills and turns.
Kettle Lakes has 14 km of biking trails ranging from easy to moderate. The trails wind through Jack pine forest and lead you to Slab Lake. Bicycles are available for rent at the front gate.
Healthy Parks, Healthy People
Research shows that spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental health and biking is just one of the ways to include more nature in our lives. This is why Ontario Parks has embraced the worldwide Healthy Parks Healthy People movement which encourages everyone to spend more time in nature.
In celebration of the Healthy Parks Healthy People movement, Ontario Parks is offering FREE day use at all Ontario Parks on July 15, 2016; the perfect time to try out a new bike trail.